A teen accused of setting fire to a neighbor’s truck after an exchange of words over where the boy rode his motorcycle, had to be restrained and removed from the room where he appeared for a bond hearing Thursday.
Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Inv. Mike Howell said that Nicholas Connell, 17, was riding a motorcycle through the victim’s yard and after and exchange of words, “he left and then came back with a two-gallon gas can and set fire to the victim’s truck.”
Connell appeared before Douglas County Magistrate Court Judge Barbara Caldwell for a bond hearing Thursday morning. As Caldwell read the arrest warrant charging him with arson, Connell was red-faced and agitated. As Howell gave the judge additional information, he tried to blurt in between the investigators words.
“When the victim went out to confront him, he revved up the motorcycle so as not to hear him,” Howell said.
Howell said that the victims are opposed to a bond.
“Because this was a case of retaliation, the victim and his family is worried about what could happen should be released,” Howell said. “He lives in the same neighborhood.”
When he finally was give a chance to speak after he was again advised of his rights, Connell lasted the victim.
“The man didn’t tell you that the man put his hands on me and he threatened my life and that’s the reason I retaliated like I did,” Connell said on the video link. “I wasn’t in his yard, I was on the pipeline. I could have torn his yard all to pieces if I wanted to. I didn’t get on it until I was in my grandparent’s yard. He threatened my life, I wanted y’all to hear that. He threatened to (expletive) kill me.”
Despite Caldwell trying to calm Connell and caution him against outbursts, he launched a profanity laced tirade and started struggling when deputies that tried to calm him. They had to remove him from the appearance room and he could be heard off camera shouting and cursing deputies.
Connell’s mother tried to tell Caldwell that this wasn’t like her son, but after Assistant District Attorney Ryan Leonard agreed with Howell on the subject of bond, Caldwell denied bond. She advised Connell’s mother to seek help for her son in terms of counseling and an attorney.