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Man arrested for setting fire to MISD's agricultural barn

Hewitt Police Department
POSTED: Monday, August 18, 2014 - 6:57am
UPDATED: Monday, August 18, 2014 - 9:16pm

Police have arrested a man they say is responsible for arson at the Midway ISD agricultural barn at the end of last month.

Trenton Andrew Ortner, 25, was arrested Friday on an arson charge, which is a second degree felony. Ortner was arrested by the Temple Police Department and placed into the Bell County jail.

Previously, Hewitt police called the investigation an "odd situation", which took place in the early morning of Thursday, July 31.

In the surveillance video, released by Midway ISD, you can see a man petting a cow inside of the school district's agricultural barn around 4:30 a.m. Police say the man spent about 30 minutes inside the barn feeding and petting the animals before setting fire to two storage sheds. A citizen happened to notice the fire and contacted authorities. Waco Fire Department responded to the scene and put the fire out.

The fire destroyed one of the sheds, causing severe damage to the other. There was also fire damage to the hay and feed being stored.

"The behavior in itself is kind of strange, you know. But, I don't know exactly what's going on, what's in the mindset of that individual, if there's drugs or alcohol that may play a part into it. We don't know that yet," said Devlin.

Hewitt police say they received a tip on August 12, providing the identity and location of Ortner. Police detectives located the man and determined he was in fact the one caught in the surveillence  video.

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