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Crime & Courts

Anchorage man arrested after starting fires at 2 businesses, police say

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
  • Updated: September 9, 2020
  • Published September 9, 2020

An Anchorage man is facing arson charges after he lit a fire inside a Midtown liquor store and started another outside a gift shop, police said Wednesday.

Police were called to the Brown Jug on Fireweed Lane just after midnight Friday, according to an alert from the Anchorage Police Department. An employee reported that a man, later identified as 34-year-old Travis E. Anderson, set an item on fire and placed it inside a cooler, according to police. He stayed in the store until the employees saw the smoke, police said.

Brown Jug employees were able to put out the fire, police said.

Anderson returned to Brown Jug shortly afterward to give a fake suspect description to an employee, according to police.

Police were then called to the Ulu Factory on West Ship Creek Avenue at 7:17 a.m. the same day because an alarm was going off. Investigators determined a man had broken a window on the northeast side of the building and stole several items from inside, police said. He started a fire outside the building and fled on foot, police said.

A passer-by put out the fire, according to police.

Officers noticed Anderson in a Dodge Ram at the neighboring Comfort Inn, according to police, who said that he matched the suspect description and that the license plates on the Ram belonged to another vehicle. Other officers arrived and they blocked Anderson in with their patrol vehicles, police said.

Anderson refused to leave the truck and was forcibly removed by officers, police said. He began to physically fight and bit an officer on the arm while he was being handcuffed, according to police. Anderson refused to let up on the bite and was shocked with a Taser, police said.

He continued to resist but was eventually handcuffed and brought to the hospital for a medical clearance, police said.

After an interview with detectives, Anderson was arrested on two counts of second-degree arson, a charge of burglary, theft, resisting, assault and criminal mischief, according to police.

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