NEWPORT — A Newport woman was arrested Sunday, March 22, on charges of arson and assaulting a police officer.
According to a release from the Newport Police Department, at about 11:30 p.m. on Sunday, police and the Newport Fire Department were dispatched to 226 NE Third St. on a report of a possible arson fire. Responding personnel learned a fire was started in a garbage storage area attached to a four-plex apartment.
A witness told police they arrived to find flames erupting from the garbage storage area and said they noticed Ashley Kayla Rose Hunt, 24, who also lives in the apartments, leaving the area of the fire. The witness grabbed a garden hose and began trying to extinguish the fire. When doing so, they said, Hunt shut off the water supply to the hose they were using.
An investigation revealed Hunt had earlier threatened several residents with burning down the complex, according to police. Officers located Hunt barricaded inside her apartment, where she had reportedly poured accelerant.
Police were able to distract Hunt long enough for them to force entry and take her into custody. While officers gained entry into the apartment, Hunt used a boot in her hand to strike one of the arresting officers, causing injury, according to the NPD release. At least two of the other apartments in the complex were occupied at the time of the fire, which caused damage to the storage area and had begun to burn the siding on the apartment complex.
Hunt was evaluated at Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital prior to being transported to the Lincoln County Jail. According to court records, she is charged with the Class A felony of first-degree arson and Class C felonies of second-degree arson, first-degree criminal mischief and assaulting a public safety officers, as well as misdemeanor charges. She remains jailed on $250,000 bond.
The investigation is continuing by the NPD, NFD and the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s office. Anyone with additional information should contact the Newport police.