A 31-year-old Homestead man was arrested Monday afternoon after Deputies and Monroe County Fire Rescue Firefighters were called to a fire on the 28000 block of Dorothy Avenue on Little Torch Key.
James Moniel Saint James was charged giving a false name to police and criminal mischief causing property damage.
The fire remains under investigation by fire officials and Saint James could face further charges.
Sgt. Evan Calhoun as well as Deputies Anthony Buscemi and Christian Deen were called to the home at 2 p.m. Lower Keys Detective John Gabay was also called to the scene. There was no one inside the home when they arrived. A
resident there as well as Saint James were present along with a group of bystanders. The resident stated Saint James started the fire. Saint James gave Deputy Buscemi a false name and denied starting the fire.
The resident stated a friend brought Saint James by the residence and drug use, including the reported use of Ecstasy, ensued. The resident stated Saint James began acting erratically at one point — removing female clothes from closets in which he claimed were his and punching holes in the drywall. She and the friend failed in attempts to calm Saint James. She stated that Saint James claimed he would light the house on fire sometime shortly thereafter. She stated she and the friend went outside to smoke a cigarette when they saw smoke emitting from the residence. She stated no one was in the house at the time the fire started other than Saint James.
Saint James was taken to Lower Keys Medical Center on Stock Island to be checked by doctors given his erratic behavior — he talked to himself while en route, stating seemingly non-associated things like, “I’m rich *****,” numerous times.
Saint James was cleared at the hospital and taken to jail.
The fire remains under investigation.