Hughesville house fire caused by lightning

Early morning lightning set fire to the roof of a Hughesville home and killed a cat last Friday, according to the state fire marshal.

Per the fire marshal, 48 firefighters from the local volunteer fire department responded to the Brandywine Road blaze, which was discovered by a passerby at 6:31 a.m. Aug. 2. The fire, which was caused by lightning striking the roof of the garage, did an estimated $250,000 in damage before it was under control. Except the cat, no injuries were reported.

Hotel mulch fire under investigation

The Maryland State Fire Marshal is working to determine the preliminary cause of a small mulch fire behind the Courtyard Marriott in the 3100 block of Waldorf on Aug. 1. Firefighters responded to the hotel just after 9 a.m. and had the blaze controlled in five minutes. The fire, which was discovered by an employee, did an estimated $500 of damage.

Waldorf man charged with malicious burning

A Waldorf man was originally ordered held without bond and later released on his own recognizance after allegedly trying to set a car ablaze in La Plata on July 25.

Police arrested Steven Taylor Jarvis, 54, shortly after 8 a.m. after he allegedly tried to set fire to a woman’s car outside of Charles County Freedom Landing in La Plata, per the statement of charges. Jarvis had arrived at Freedom Landing, an organization that provides assistance for adults with emotional disorders, to do laundry when the woman told him he wasn’t enrolled there. Jarvis allegedly became upset and put “a flaming roll of toilet tissues” on the hood of the woman’s Honda Accord.

Police got the small blaze under control and detained Jarvis, who allegedly said he “really set that [expletive] on fire,” according to the report. Jarvis allegedly did $1,500 worth of damage to the vehicle.

Jarvis was ordered held without bond July 26 and released on his own recognizance July 29. A preliminary hearing in district court is scheduled Aug. 20.

Nanjemoy man allegedly bit woman

Police arrested 49-year-old Keith Angelo Butler of Nanjemoy on July 23 after he allegedly struck and bit a woman during a drug-fueled argument.

According to the statement of charges, officers arrived at Butler’s Gethsemane Hall Place residence around 11:54 a.m. for an unknown problem there. There, officers met with a woman who said Butler had bitten her arm, from which she reportedly had “a large piece of skin missing.” The woman told police Butler was allegedly under the influence of PCP, which had made him behave aggressively in the past. In the course of an argument, the woman said, Butler had bitten her arm hard enough to remove a chunk of skin three inches in diameter and shoved his fingers in her eyes. She managed to escape and called police. When they arrived at the home, Butler was allegedly “completely naked sitting on a couch” as they spoke with him, “replying with words [the officers] could not make out at first.”

Butler was taken into custody and originally held without bond, which was later converted to $25,000 July 25. His bond was posted and he was released July 31, online court records show. A preliminary hearing is set Aug. 21.

Suspect wanted in violent domestic assault

Charles County Sheriff’s Office detectives are looking for Rayvon Maquis Drayton, 22, of Fredericksburg, Va., in connection with a domestic-related assault. On Aug. 1, Drayton allegedly brandished a handgun and assaulted a female acquaintance. He fled prior to police arrival. An arrest warrant has been obtained charging Drayton with first-degree assault. Anyone with information about Drayton’s whereabouts is asked to call 301-932-2222.

Robbery suspects sought

Charles County Crime Solvers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the identities of the suspects involved in the robbery of a pizza delivery man. On Aug. 5 at 12:05 a.m., officers responded to the area of Travers Road in Indian Head for the report of a robbery. Investigation showed the victim was making a delivery when he was confronted by several suspects who threatened him and demanded money. The victim complied and the suspects fled with the victim’s money. Anyone with information is asked to call Officer C. Garner at 301-932-2222. Tipsters wishing to remain anonymous may contact Charles County Crime Solvers by calling 1-866-411-TIPS. Tips can also be submitted online at or by using the P3Intel mobile app. The investigation is ongoing.

Waldorf woman made alleged arson threats

A Waldorf woman was arrested and later released on her own recognizance after she allegedly threatened to set her residence on fire.

Police responded to a Bampton Court residence around 9:38 p.m. Aug. 1 for a reported domestic assault in progress, according to the statement of charges.

There, police learned the accused, 44-year-old Nicholla Lasalle Pinder, had been arguing with a man and throwing items around the home when she allegedly threatened that she would “set this place on fire” and began looking for a lighter, according to the report. When she failed to find a lighter, she allegedly turned on the electric stove and placed a piece of paper over it.

Pinder called 911 herself when the victim began to do the same, the report says, and turned off the stove. Officers reportedly observed “broken glass scattered across the house as well as loose papers located in the kitchen.” Pinder was allegedly uncooperative when officers went to place her in custody.

Pinder was charged with threatening arson, attempted first-degree arson, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. She was released on her own recognizance Aug. 2 and a district court trial is scheduled for Sept. 27.


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