DENVER (KDVR) — The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado announced a 21-year-old Loveland man was arrested and charged in connection to damage caused in a church fire.
Darion Ray Sexton was allegedly seen on surveillance video from a liquor store two days before the fire buying glass bottles similar to those found broken at the church, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a release. A judge on Friday ordered him detained pending trial.
‘Molotov cocktail’ attack caught on camera
Just before midnight on Jan. 19, crews with the Loveland Fire Rescue Authority responded to reports of a fire at the Abiding Love Lutheran Church, located at 2825 E. First St.
When first responders arrived, they discovered a broken window near the church’s front entrance and a very small fire, the Loveland Police Department said. The fire was extinguished almost immediately.
Firefighters and Loveland officers searched the church’s basement, where they discovered evidence of a second fire that the building’s sprinkler system had put out, the department said.
The FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Loveland Police conducted an investigation into the incident.
“Analysis from the ATF indicated that the areas of fire damage were separate and concluded there were multiple areas of fire origin. A doorbell camera at the church captured a masked individual throwing a ‘Molotov-cocktail’-type destructive device at the church’s front door,” according to the release.
The release also said a plastic bottle similar to one found in the church basement was found at the suspect’s residence, and footprints in the snow led from the church to Sexton’s residence.
Loveland Police arrested Sexton on Jan. 21 and booked him on counts of possession, use or removal of an incendiary device and first-degree arson.