WEST VALLEY CITY — Police arrested a man who they say set his grandfather’s house on fire and then was found hiding nearby holding box cutters.
Jack Nacyn Tuttle, 27, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail late Tuesday for investigation of aggravated arson, interfering with an arresting officer and possession of drug paraphernalia.
West Valley fire crews responded to a house fire Tuesday about 10:30 p.m. near 5200 West and 3500 South. They arrived to find “heavy fire and smoke” coming from the rear of the house, according West Valley police spokeswoman Roxeanne Vainuku.
“The house was occupied by (Tuttle’s) grandfather who was inside the house asleep at the time of the fire,” according to a police affidavit.
The grandfather was able to get out of the house without injury, Vainuku said. Damage to the home was estimated at $50,000.
Tuttle ran off before emergency crews arrived, but he was spotted hiding behind the air conditioning unit of a nearby church in the parking lot, she said.
“Upon taking (Tuttle) into custody he was holding a box cutter and would not comply with officers’ directive to drop the box cutter,” the affidavit states.
Police used a Taser on Tuttle twice before they were able to take him into custody. After his arrest, officers learned that Tuttle had gotten into an argument with his grandfather earlier in the day and that his grandfather “desired to kick him out of the house but feared for his safety due to (his grandson’s) behavior,” according to the affidavit.
A witness told investigators that as Tuttle was walking away from the house, he heard him say, “I had to do it, they were talking (expletive), I had to start the fire,” police wrote.
Police also noted that Tuttle “was babbling on and was in crisis mode. (He) appeared to be suffering from mental issues.”