PIERCETON — Just before 3 p.m. Jan. 13, an off-duty Pierceton police officer who was operating his fully marked take-home police commission noticed a large amount of black smoke coming from the area of Third Street and Tower Street in Pierceton.
When the officer arrived at 306 W. Tower St., he noticed an adult male, later identified as Shane Skeens, 30, standing outside the residence. Skeens tried to re-enter the fully engulfed home but was told no by the officer because it wasn’t safe.
Skeens became upset and combative toward the officer and another Pierceton citizen who arrived to help the officer from keeping Skeens from going back inside the burning home.
During the altercation, Skeens battered the officer by bitting his hand and ejecting saliva on him. Skeens also clawed the citizen’s neck and spit on him too.
Skeens was taken into custody and transported to the Kosciusko County Jail and booked for battery with bodily fluids, battery on a law enforcement officer, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. He is being held on a $5,250 surety and cash bond.
Due to the nature of the structure fire, an investigation is ongoing by the Pierceton Police Department, Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office, Pierceton/Washington Twp. Fire Department and fire investigators from Kosciusko County Squad 70.
Initial investigation revealed Skeens was the only one home at the time. Skeens is not the homeowner but does live at the address.
Assisting the Pierceton Police at the scene was the KCSO, Winona Lake Police, North Webster Police, Kosciusko County Central Dispatch, Kosciusko County Prosecutor’s Office, Kosciusko Animal Control and Lutheran EMS. The fire scene was controlled by the Pierceton/Washington Fire Dept. and assisted by the Winona Lake Fire Dept., North Webster Fire Dept., Sidney Fire Dept. and Kosciusko County Squad 70 Fire Investigation.
This is an ongoing investigation. Further information will be released as the investigation moves forward.