Massachusetts State Police Troopers took a man into custody on the morning of Sept. 29 after he allegedly doused a Franklin County home with lighter fluid and threatened to set it on fire. An MSP press release did not identify the 40-year-old man, but it did state that his name was being withheld because of a law protecting the identity of domestic violence victims. He has been charged with assaulting a family or household member.

Troopers dispatched to investigate assault

Troopers from the MSP’s Belchertown barracks were dispatched to a Shutesbury residence at about 10 a.m. after emergency operators received a call reporting an assault in progress. The caller said that the man had threatened several family members and told them that he planned to burn the house down. After learning that the family members had retreated to a position of safety, MSP troopers established a perimeter around the house and called a crisis negotiator to the scene.

Situation resolved peacefully

The crisis negotiator, an MSP tactical team, officers from the Pelham Police Department and firefighters from the Shutesbury Town Fire Department arrived on the scene. After about 30 minutes had passed, police realized that the man was no longer inside the house. An MSP trooper identified his car on Massachusetts Route 2 and initiated a traffic stop a short time later. The man was taken into custody without further incident according to reports.

Family disputes often become heated

Arguments between family or household members may become heated, and it is not uncommon for individuals with no history of violent behavior to do or say things in these situations that they later regret. Experienced criminal defense attorneys might argue that charging suspects with violent crimes like assault is inappropriate when no one suffered injuries and no property was destroyed.