Thursday, 18 July 2024

REGIONAL: Man high on toluene sets casino carpet on fire

WILLITS – On Wednesday Mendocino County Sheriff's deputies arrested a Willits man who was high from sniffing a chemical and who burned a portion of carpet at a Willits casino.


Gerald Crandell Simpson, 40, was taken into custody for inhaling toluene, an industrial solvent used as an intoxicant, and for arson, according to a report from Lt. Ron Welch.


On Wednesday shortly before 9:30 a.m. deputies were dispatched to Black Bart Casino regarding a patron under the influence of toluene, Welch said.


Upon their arrival deputies contacted Simpson, who was seated near the front of the casino. Welch said Simpson allegedly had evidence of toluene consumption on his person – including paint on his hands, face and clothing – as well as the heavy chemical toluene odor about his person.


Simpson was under the influence to the point he could not answer questions, nor walk without assistance, Welch said.


Deputies learned through their investigation that Simpson had entered the casino while under the influence. While in the casino, Simpson allegedly had lit a napkin on fire dropping in to the floor, burning a portion of the carpet, Welch said.


Simpson was arrested and booked into the Mendocino County Jail on charges of toluene influence, and arson of property, Welch said. Bail was set at $100,000.


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