A man accused of arson along a highway in south Colorado Springs over the weekend told investigators he started a fire because he thought he was being followed and wanted to get away, according to his arrest affidavit.
Arthur Rudd, 52, is accused of two counts of fourth-degree arson after a pair of fires were set Sunday afternoon along Colorado 115 near Cheyenne Mountain Boulevard, the documents said. Both fires were later put out by firefighters.
One witness said he was hanging out in the backyard of Myron Stratton Home – an assisted living facility – when he saw Rudd digging around in the grass, the documents said. That’s when the witness approached Rudd and asked him what he was doing.
Rudd said he was “cleaning up,” according to the documents.
Rudd then walked across the highway, and the witness told police he later saw smoke coming from the side of the road after a pickup truck pulled up, the documents stated.
A second witness told investigators that he saw Rudd about 100 feet from the first blaze holding a stick on fire. She said Rudd used it to light up a bush.
Rudd told investigators he accidentally started the first fire after he lit a napkin to spark up his cigarette. He threw the napkin on the ground and it started the blaze, the documents said.
He told investigators that the second blaze was intentional because “he thought someone was following him, so he wanted to use the fire as a distraction.” He also lit a napkin to ignite the brush fire.
The two fires caused about $120 in damage, the documents said.
Rudd was to be arraigned Wednesday.
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