St. Thomas man tries to burn woman's house down


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ST. THOMAS - A mentally ill man tried to burn an elderly woman's house down Friday morning, according to a report from V.I. Police.

Jaime Lewis, 22, was arrested at 3:50 a.m. Friday and now faces charges of first-degree arson; destruction of property; aggravated assault and battery; and disturbance of the peace. His bail is set at $75,000.

The woman told police that she woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of the smoke detectors going off. When she went to find out what had set the alarms off, she found Lewis - who lives at the residence - using a cigarette lighter to set fire to the woman's curtains, according to the affidavit.

The woman tried to put out the fire by hitting the curtains with a broom, after which Lewis ran downstairs and out of the residence, police said. Lewis then began hitting the driver side window of the woman's vehicle with a rock, the woman told police, and he pushed her down when she tried to stop him.

He then retrieved the keys to the woman's vehicle, then tried to leave in it but hit the woman's daughter's vehicle and a wall, the woman told police.

Lewis then went back inside the home, where he pushed down an entertainment center, a refrigerator and a stove before he fled on foot, the woman said.

When officers arrived, they searched for him and found him nearby and arrested him.

V.I. Superior Court Magistrate Carolyn Hermon-Percell on Friday approved a mental health examination before further proceedings in Lewis's case. Lewis had been arrested in 2012 and 2013 on charges of simple and aggravated assault, though no dispositions were available regarding those charges.

- Contact Jenny Kane at 714-9102 or email jkane@dailynews.vi.

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