Franklin Man Accused of Purposely Starting Series of Fires, Resisting Arrest

| February 1, 2019

FRANKLIN, Pa. (EYT) – A Franklin man is accused of purposely starting a series of fires after video surveillance shows him igniting a dumpster at one of the locations.

According to court documents, the Franklin Police Department filed criminal charges against 29-year-old Keith Edward Horn, of Franklin, in Magisterial District Judge Matthew T. Kirtland’s office.

Horn is accused of setting fires at locations on the 1200 block of Liberty Street; the 1200 Block of Buffalo Street; and 1415 Chestnut Street between the time period of 8:02 p.m. on November 12, 2017, to September 24, 2018.

Details of the case:

On September 24, 2018, Officers Edwards and Scott responded to a garbage can fire at 1417 Chestnut Street that was reported around 1:10 a.m. The garbage can was located by the roadway for collection pickup.

Officer Edwards stood by awaiting the arrival of Franklin Fire Department and to assure there were no exposures, then cleared this incident. Officer Edwards was then dispatched to the area of 11th and Buffalo Streets which ended up being in front of 419 11th Street at 1:30 a.m. for a mattress fire with motor vehicle exposure in close proximity.

At 1:58 a.m., Officer Scott located a third fire at 1131 Chestnut Street in a garbage can with motor vehicle exposures.

According to the complaint, around 2:05 a.m., Officer Scott called out to a suspicious person – found to be Keith Horn – in the 1100 block of Buffalo Street in the vicinity of the fires. Officers made contact with Horn, and a pat-down revealed two lighters in his possession. Horn denied any knowledge of the fires.

Through the course of Officer Edward’s investigation into the string of garbage can fires, she learned of possible witnesses in the other previously reported fire incidents. Upon following up with three witnesses, it was learned that Horn had been bragging to others about setting “multiple” fires, and according to a witness, he seemed “excited or happy about his feat,” the complaint states.

Video footage from a February 23, 2018 incident was viewed. At 11:04 p.m. on February 23, 2018, Horn is shown on the video setting the dumpster on fire at the Eagles Club located at 1205 Buffalo Street in Franklin and then standing by with other bystanders watching it burn, awaiting the fire department.

In this case, Horn is with a witness and allegedly tells the witness that he set this fire and asked the witness to “watch the smoke with him.” The witness can also be seen in this video arriving on the scene after the fire is going, the complaint states.

Through her investigation, Officer Edwards learned that on November 12, 2017, Horn called in a report of a dumpster fire at 1209 Liberty Street behind Spanky’s Tobacco World at 8:08 p.m. At 8:34 p.m. on November 12, 2017, a second dumpster fire was reported at 1205 Buffalo Street at the Eagles Club. Horn allegedly admitted to witnesses that he set this fire, the complaint states.

The Franklin Police Department filed charges in Judge Kirtland’s office on January 14, 2019.

Horn was arraigned at 3:45 p.m. on January 23 on the following offenses:

– Reckless Burning or Exploding – places property having a value that exceeds $5000 or automobile, place, Felony 3
– Criminal Mischief/Damage Property Intent, Reckless, Or Negligent, Felony 3
– Disorderly Conduct Hazardous/Physical Offense, Misdemeanor 3

Unable to post $25,000.00 monetary bail, he was lodged in the Venango County Jail.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on February 6 with Judge Kirtland presiding.

January 14, 2019 Incident:

On January 14, 2019, around 2:59 p.m., Officer Brownlee, of the Franklin Police Department, was dispatched to a report of an unwanted actor/suspicious person at a residence in the 100 Block of Grant Street. He arrived on the scene and witnesses stated they saw Keith Horn run down Pacific Street.

Officer Brownlee went onto the 200 Block of Pacific Street and observed Horn running behind a house. Officer Brownlee exited his vehicle and shouted for Horn to stop; however, Horn kept running. He was pursued to Grant Street and then back towards Pacific Street, as Officer Brownlee continued to shout commands for him to stop running.

Officer Brownlee chased Horn down the 200 Block of Pacific Street, and he ordered him to stop running again and repeated the command two more times before Horn stopped.

According to the complaint, Horn still continued to refuse commands and exhibited an aggressive posture and appearing tense, he replied, “Make me.” Officer Brownlee deployed his taser to safely effect the arrest.

Charges were filed in Judge Kirkland’s office on January 14, 2019.

Horn was arraigned at 3:30 p.m. on January 23 on the following charges:

– Resist Arrest/Other Law Enforcement, Misdemeanor 2
– Public Drunkenness And Similar Misconduct, Summary

Bail was set at $15,000.00 monetary for this case.

A preliminary hearing for this case is set for 1:30 p.m. on February 6.

Charges were also filed against Horn on January 7 from a January 4, 2019 incident for misdemeanor charges of use/possession of drug paraphernalia, harassment and related offenses.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on February 6 on these charges.


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