Minn. Man Charged for Assaulting Firefighters After Setting House on Fire

Minn. Man Charged for Assaulting Firefighters After Setting House on Fire

News Apr 14, 2018

Apr. 14—A rural Anoka County man was charged Friday with felony arson and assault after he allegedly set an RV and a house on fire and then attacked two firefighters who responded to the scene earlier this week.

Jon Vernon Tuma, 39, of Linwood Township made his first appearance Friday in Anoka County District Court, where he was charged with two counts of first-degree arson and two counts of second-degree assault. Bail was set at $1 million.

At about 5 p.m. Wednesday, Anoka County sheriff’s deputies and the Linwood Fire Department responded to a report of an RV fire on a property in the 5900 block of 213th Lane, according to the complaint.

As the firefighters were putting out the RV fire, they noticed smoke coming from the house on the property.

Two firefighters went to investigate and encountered Tuma, who is the son of the homeowners. The firefighters, who evacuated the homeowners, then told Tuma to leave the house.

Tuma attacked one firefighter, punching him and hitting him with metal bookends, striking him in the head several times. When the other firefighter tried to intervene, Tuma attacked him with the bookends and bit him on the shoulder.

Tuma then ran out a balcony door and onto the roof of the house holding the bloodied bookends and a knife as the house burned around him. Eventually he jumped into a snowbank and was taken into custody.

Tuma’s father told deputies that after the fire in the RV, where his son lives, he entered the house “acting crazy” and began setting the residence on fire.

The firefighters were taken to the hospital with significant head lacerations, which required numerous staples to close, the complaint said.

Tuma’s next hearing is set for May 10.

Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.