Seymour man arrested for arson


A Seymour man faces four preliminary felony charges after he attempted to set a bedroom on fire at a home on the northeast side of the city Tuesday night, police said.

James T. Hampton, 52, faces charges of arson, a Level 4 felony; confinement, a Level 6 felony; and two charges of intimidation, which are Level 6 felonies.

The incident that led to Hampton’s arrest started when Seymour Police Department Officer Blake McCrary responded to a report at 8:09 p.m. that a man had barricaded himself inside of his room and was threatening to set the house on fire.

The caller told dispatchers the man, later identified as Hampton, had poured fingernail polish remover on some clothing and was threatening to set it on fire with a lighter, according to an incident report from the Seymour Police Department.

Another man in the house said Hampton had been arguing all day with a woman who also was present, police said.

The woman had walked into Hampton’s room to grab a few items, and when she tried to leave the room, he wouldn’t let her leave, police said. The other man then had to force the door open to allow the woman to leave.

Police said Hampton then started threatening to burn the house down, and the man and woman with him left the house and called police.

The woman said she stood by the window by Hampton’s room and saw him attempt to set a windowsill and her purse on fire.

Hampton told police he had barricaded himself because he was trying to call the police but didn’t have a phone and was threatening to set the house on fire so the people inside of the home would.

When inspecting the house, McCrary smelled a strong odor and found an empty bottle of fingernail polish remover, a can of hair spray and a spray bottle of bleach.

Hampton was booked into the Jackson County Jail in Brownstown at 9:33 p.m. Tuesday. He was being held without bond pending his initial hearing in Jackson Circuit Court.

In Indiana, a Level 4 felony means two to 12 years in prison with an advisory sentence of six years if convicted.

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