Attempted Arson Suspect Arrested

Sgt. Terry Preuninger, PIO


Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at 1:33 p.m.


Suspect arrested for attempting to burn down house with ex-girlfriend asleep inside.

On May 11, 2020 at approximately 3:00PM, SPD responded to the 1200 block of E Heroy in reference to a domestic violence call. The caller stated her daughter's ex-boyfriend tried to burn the house down the previous night.

The complainant stated that she, her daughter, and her daughter’s ex-boyfriend Thomas Willoughby (52), all lived at the residence and that her daughter and Willoughby had recently broken up.

The complainant’s daughter had a party the night before the incident and at approximately 10:00PM hours Willoughby, upset about the party, took a 5 gallon gas can and poured it on the front porch and front of the house. The complainant was awake in the house and her daughter was asleep inside. The complainant immediately grabbed the hose and washed the gasoline away.

One of the victims stated that Willoughby then lit a cigarette and threw it on the front porch where he had poured the gasoline. It did not ignite because it had been soaked it in water.

SPD collected the cigarette and gas can and submitted it to property as evidence after photographing it.

Based on the above statements and evidence, there was Probable Cause to arrest Willoughby for

Arson 1st degree. The house was worth over $10,000, was an occupied residential dwelling, and Willoughby purposefully and maliciously attempted to light the house on fire with his girlfriend sleeping inside.

Willoughby was placed under arrested and transported to Spokane County Jail.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, please reach out using the resources at this link: https://endtheviolencespokane.org/

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