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Colorado Springs arsonist said he started fire to ‘chase away demons’

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — After using a small shovel to fend off police and jumping through a plate-glass window to avoid them, a Colorado Springs man said he started a cardboard fire in an effort to “chase away demons” on Sunday.

According to Colorado Springs Police officers, 48-year-old Jerad Cronin started a fire in his apartment in the 1000 block of Westmoreland Road at approximately 1:57 p.m. Sunday, then locked himself inside.

Cronin refused to open the door when officers arrived, saying he had started a cardboard fire to “chase away demons.”

Officers got a warrant and forced their way into the residences. At that point, Cronin threatened them with a shovel, then jumped through a plate glass window in his bedroom and began running before officers eventually caught up with him.

Cronin had a deep cut on his abdomen and was arrested on second degree arson charges.