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After getting angry during a date, man sets Kenosha building on fire, police say

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Two Kenosha Police officers on patrol early Saturday who stopped to check on a broken door in a business uncovered a burglary and arson underway.

The officers were working together in an unmarked squad when, at 2:55 a.m. Saturday, one of the officers noticed the lower portion of a glass door to a commercial building at 2109 52nd St. was broken. Looking inside, the officer saw an interior door to the building leading to Mary’s Beauty Salon was shattered and a man — later identified as Esmond King — was on his hands and knees crawling out of the building.

King, 31, of Milwaukee, was charged Monday in Kenosha County Circuit Court with arson, burglary, criminal damage to property, threat to law enforcement and with 33 counts of felony bail jumping.

According to a criminal complaint filed against King Monday, the officer drew his gun and ordered King to the ground, taking him into custody and calling for additional officers to come to the scene.

The complaint states that, during his arrest, King is alleged to have resisted and threatened to kill the officers and the officers’ families.

While dealing with the arrest, the second officer “observed a small amount of smoke coming from the business and could smell what he believed was something burning. Officers began to make entry and the smoke began to intensify. It then became clear that the business was on fire and it began to quickly grow,” the complaint states. Police called the Kenosha Fire Department.

Along with the beauty salon, the building contains a Boost Mobile store, a clothing store and a mattress shop. Above the stores, there are three apartments, according to the complaint. All of the apartments were occupied and all of the occupants got out safely during the fire, according to the complaint.

According to the complaint, the fire caused substantial damage to the commercial building, with the owner of the building saying the damage would likely cost “many $10,000s of dollars’ to repair.”

There was “catastrophic interior damage” from the fire in the beauty salon, with smoke and water damage to other areas of the building. According to the complaint, it appears that a the candy machine was used to break the glass door, and that the fire was intentionally set along the west wall of the salon.

Related incident

About an hour before police found the burglary and fire, another officer was called to Shenanigans, 2427 52nd St., for a report of a man damaging a car. At the bar, an officer spoke to a woman who said she had been on a date with a man later identified as King.

The woman, who according to the complaint was “very emotional and intoxicated,” told police that one of her friends had told King to stop bumping into people and that he “got very upset, quickly walked out of the bar and a short time later someone came into the bar stating that the windows on her Subaru had been broken.”

The woman went outside to find her car’s front and rear passenger windows had been broken out with a brick.

Police spoke to another man who had been in the bar who said King had become aggressive with two women and that the man had asked him to stop. When he did, according to the complaint, King allegedly punched the man in the face and ran out of the bar.

The complaint states that when King was found at the beauty salon he had an ID for the woman who had called earlier about the damage to her car.

Taking some extra steps to secure your home before you go on vacation can keep you safe from burglary. Watch this to find out some easy tips on how to do so.

At the time of his arrest, according to the complaint, King was out on bond for criminal cases in Dane, Waukesha and Jefferson counties, including charges for stalking, violating domestic abuse injunctions, threats to police, and driving a car without owner’s consent.

Following his initial court appearance Monday, King is being held on $50,000 bond.


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