Man Charged With Arson Following Police Standoff - The Missourian: Local News

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Man Charged With Arson Following Police Standoff

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Posted: Thursday, July 4, 2013 8:30 pm

The Villa Ridge man who was taken into custody following a standoff last month is facing weapons and arson charges.

Christopher Bowen, 40, is charged in Franklin County Associate Circuit Court with felonies of arson, and unlawful use of a weapon. He also is charged with misdemeanor domestic assault.

The charges stem from a June 18 standoff at a home in the 500 block of Highway M in Villa Ridge.

Bowen was taken into custody following a standoff at his Villa Ridge home June 18.

Sheriff Gary Toelke said deputies responded to the home at 9:17 p.m. after Bowen’s family members called a crisis hotline center and said he was suicidal.

When an officer arrived at the scene, Bowen was on the front porch of a mobile home with a knife. He yelled for the deputy to stay away or he would command his dog to attack.

There were family members still in the home when officers arrived, however they were able to escape through a back door while the man was on the porch.

Bowen then threatened to cut himself with the knife, authorities said.

Deputies struck the man with a taser as he tried to go into the home, but the taser round had no effect, Toelke said.

After Bowen went back into the home, he continued to yell at deputies and threatened to blow up the home, authorities said. Shortly afterward, authorities saw smoke coming from the home.

There were bean bag rounds fired through windows of the residence, and Boles Fire Protection District firefighters sprayed water through the windows of the residence to extinguish the fire.

Bowen returned to the front porch and had visible injuries.

Authorities asked Bowen to surrender, and the Franklin County SWAT team was called to the scene.

While he was on the porch, Franklin County SWAT team members approached the home from a secluded position, and fired a second taser round to subdue Bowen.

He fell to the ground and was taken into custody and transported to Mercy Hospital St. Louis by Meramec Ambulance.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol and Washington Police provided mutual aid at the scene.

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