Two Arrested After Lighting Their Van On Fire And Attacking An Officer
See update on charges and dog below.
SPRINGFIELD TENNESSEE: (Smokey Barn News) – Two people were taken into custody Thursday evening after police say they lit their van on fire with gasoline and put it into gear in the parking lot of KFC in Springfield. It all happened around 7:30pm. MAP
Police say the two suspects are a married couple from Michigan that recently moved to Hermitage Tennessee. The two were driving a commercial van with Michigan plates containing what be carpet cleaning equipment. According to police, after lighting the inside of the van on fire with gasoline, they put the van into gear and locked the doors. The van only made it as far as the ledge in front of KFC where it became lodged just feet from Memorial Blvd.
After lighting the van on fire, Police say the suspects fled across the street with a large metal chest and a small lap dog in tow. Once across the street, police say the couple tried to get into a building by smashing out the glass on a door. It was then that the couple was confronted by a Springfield Police Officer.
According to Springfield police, one of the suspects, now identified as Stephen Comiskey, grabbed the officer by the neck, ripped off his badge and slammed him into a vehicle. The officer was able to tase Comiskey but it had little effect and he ran across the parking lot, police said. With the help of a couple of courageous citizens, the officer was able to restrain Comiskey until other officers arrived.
According to police, Mr. Comiskey told investigators that he came to Springfield to save the world and lit the van on fire because there was “evil in the van.”
Both Stephen William Comiskey, 49, and his wife Donie Joe Beth Comiskey, 41, both of Hermitage, are facing multiple charges and were taken to the Robertson County Detention Facility in Springfield.
UPDATE: According to the Robertson County Sheriff’s Office, Mr. Comiskey is currently facing charges of, Evading Arrest, Burglary, Resisting Arrest, Aggravated Assault, and Vandalism. He is currently being held at the Robertson County Detention Facility on a $245,000 bond. Other charges may be pending.
Mrs. Comiskey has been charged with Burglary and Evading-Arrest. Her bond has been set at $38,500.
The two were later charged with aggravated arson in connection with a fire that destroyed their home in Hermitage earlier in the day. Full story on the home fire from our news partners at WKRN News 2.
According to officials, the officer involved in the altercation with Comiskey is was not seriously injured.
“The officer performed well, he did exactly what he was supposed to do. He identified the suspects, he got the suspects in custody, so the officer did a fine job,” said Springfield Police Chief David Thompson.
Chief Thompson also offered a thank you to the citizens that stepped in to help.
For a short time, Police were concerned about the contents of that large metal box the couple was carrying. It contained electronic items but the items were later cleared.
The final problem was the couple’s cute little dog, it was terrified and running all around. It ran onto the street several times in what appeared to be a desperate search for it’s owners. Though everyone worked hard to contain the little dog it was hit by a passing vehicle. The impact appeared to hit the animal’s rear right leg but the dog was still on the run. Springfield Animal Control was called in to catch the animal but the quick little dog was having none of it. Finally, the Animal Control Officer got a clever idea and set up an animal crate as a trap which had the dog captured without further injury.
The Nashville Newtorks are reporting that Comiskey’s home Hermitage was destroyed by fire earlier in the evening and more charges may be coming.
UPDATE: Dog–> OK, Officials say…
According to officials in Robertson County, the little dog caught up in the ordeal is OK, showing no signs of his encounter with the vehicle.
According to Animal Control Officer Zoraida Luna, the elusive dog was a little friendlier the next morning. The little guy even sat on her lap and let her give him a big hug.
Smokey Barn News will stay in contact with officials and as more information is released we will bring it to you. The complexity of this incident will probably add time to the release of additional information.
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