Man Arrested for 10 Counts of Reckless Burning


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — A man was arrested Wednesday, August 15, after the Fayetteville Fire Department responded to nine calls for dumpster fires and 1 call for a couch and recliner on fire between the area of 507 N. Betty Jo Dr. and 691 Betty Jo Dr.

Derek Wilson, 33, is facing 10 counts of Reckless Burning and one count of Criminal Mischief.

Authorities first received a tip that a white male with long black hair who “always wears black pants and a black shirt” was spotted trying to set a dumpster on fire. 

The unidentified tipper said the male ran off when confronted. 

The suspect lived on Betty Jo Drive in the area of 580 N. Betty Jo. 

Authorities responded to the area and noticed a white male with long black hair dressed in all black was standing outside of 557 N. Betty Jo Dr. 

Police made contact with the man, identified as Derek Wilson, who agreed to speak with officials. 

Wilson made several incriminating statements about the dumpster fires, including professing knowledge as to the suspect’s motivations for starting the fires, according to the preliminary report form. 

The suspect also told authorities he did not want to incriminate himself. 

Officials then arrested Wilson and brought him to the police department for questioning. 

Authorities advised the suspect of his Miranda Rights and Wilson agreed to speak with police. 

Wilson admitted to starting the 10 fires and provided details about how the fires started and why he started them. 

All of the dumpsters were positioned at the entrance to the apartment parking lots and were in close proximity to other things such as vehicles and trees, police said. 

Captain William Beeks of the Fayetteville Fire Department estimated dumpster damage from the fires to be approximately $2,400.

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