Man Charged With Arson In St. Paul Church Of Scientology Fire

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A 36-year-old man is charged with felony arson for allegedly setting fire to a library at the Church of Scientology in downtown St. Paul last week.

Prosecutors charged Anthony Odell Johnson with first-degree arson in Ramsey County court on Monday. The judge set bail at $100,000 with conditions.

The charges say a witness told police she was in the church’s second-floor library when she asked Johnson if he needed help. He then allegedly took a jug of gasoline from his backpack and began splashing it on the books. The witness saw flames and smoke and got a fire extinguisher while other church members called 911.

[graphiq id=”1vIhMYmLmZv” title=”Scientology” width=”600″ height=”625″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/1vIhMYmLmZv” ]

Police found a burned matchbook on a shelf.

The witness said Johnson is known from prior incidents at the church.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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