COLUMBIA CITY — A Columbia City man was recently arrested after allegedly threatening to set a woman on fire.
Benjamin C. Jenkins, 37, 5106 E. McJunkin St., Columbia City, is charged with aggravated battery, a level 3 felony; and two counts of intimidation, both level 6 felonies.
On June 10, a Whitley County Sheriff’s officer responded to a report of a domestic dispute. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with a woman who said Jenkins had doused her with gasoline while holding a lighter and threatening to set her on fire.
According to court documents, the woman said Jenkins came to her home and asked if he could work in the garage. She gave him permission to do so. However, a short time later, Jenkins began yelling and throwing items in the garage. Due to his behavior, the woman asked him to leave.
Jenkins became more aggressive and grabbed a small gas can filled with gasoline and began lighting objects on fire. He then allegedly turned to the woman and doused her with gasoline. Jenkins left the scene on foot.
At the scene, officers saw a small gas can and burning debris. A K9 unit was requested at the scene to help search for Jenkins. The K9 unit and officers found Jenkins trying to hide in a wooded area.
While being taken into custody, Jenkins became verbally abusive toward the officers. When Jenkins walked past the woman, he was also verbally abusive toward her. Officers asked the woman if she would be willing to provide a written statement on the incident. However, the woman declined to do so and said she didn’t want to see Jenkins get in trouble.
Jenkins was taken to a local hospital for medical clearance after Jenkins said he was experiencing shoulder pain. After being medically cleared, Jenkins was taken to the Whitley County Jail and read his rights. Jenkins told officers he did not want to provide a statement about what occurred and declined to answer questions.
Jenkins was booked in the Whitley County Jail on June 10.