Local man arrested after spreading gasoline, assaulting officers

Alfredo Arana, Jr., 52, Salem, was arrested Tuesday after threatening to burn his home down with his family inside it and fighting with police officers.

Arana’s wife called 911 Tuesday afternoon and said he had been off his medication and drinking that day. She said he was outside, pouring gasoline around the house and on the front porch, and she was afraid he was going to set the house on fire with their children and grandchildren still inside.

Officers arrived to find Arana sitting in a chair on the front porch of his South West Washington School Road home, and could smell gasoline as they approached. In Deputy Matt Hein’s report, it said Arana refused to comply with order to stand up and put his hands over his head. Hein said they knew from previous incidents Arana routinely had knives on his person.

Eventually, Arana stood up and shouted at the officers to shoot him and, “get it over with!” Hein said Arana did put his hands up for a brief time, but then put a hand behind his back and took an aggressive stance.

Hein said Arana was wearing a heavy coat, so a taser would not be effective. Hein and Deputy Kacey Reschar went up the ramp and tried to subdue Arana, who landed a punch on Hein before Reschar deployed his baton and struck Arana, who they assisted to the porch floor.

Arana continued to yell obscenities at the officers, saying he just wanted the stress and depression gone and wanted to “commit suicide by cop.” He claimed he accidentally spilled gasoline in the grass and porch and that if he wanted to kill his family, he wouldn’t have done it by fire.

While the officers were inside speaking with the occupants, Arana told Reschar if he saw him when he got out, he was going to beat him with a stick, and made several similar statements to Reschar.

Arana was taken to the Washington County Detention Center and charged with intimidation, battery against a public safety official and resisting law enforcement.

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