A 22-year-old man charged with arson was seen walking away from a pine tree at a Henderson condominium complex before it erupted in flames, according to police.
In an arrest report by Henderson police, Edward Murphy was arrested on July 7 after he was detained by a witness to the fire. Police reported the incident at Country Hill Condominiums at 698 S. Racetrack Rd., just off Boulder Highway.
According to the report, a man and woman in the parking lot of the nearby Club Fortune Casino told police they saw a man identified as Murphy walk up to a 25-foot pine tree next to a wall at the complex and hold both hands up to it.
The woman told police, in the report, the tree began to smolder in smoke and flames once Murphy walked away from it.
The woman's husband decided to drive up to Murphy, the report said. The man got out of the vehicle, ripped Murphy's backpack away from him and held him while waiting for police.
Murphy, in the report, did not admit to setting fire to the tree. Instead, he told police he walked by the tree and did not notice anything strange before he was approached by the witness.
Murphy insisted, in the report, he was not trying to get away when he was being chased and was about to call 911 about the tree on fire.
Murphy was booked into Henderson Detention Center on a charge of third-degree arson.
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