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2015-04-16

Kerr resident arrested for vehicle arson here

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

A Kerr County resident remains incarcerated in Kerr County after being charged with felony arson in Bandera County. The man was taken into custody on Tuesday, April 7.
The incident was reported on Feb. 16, according to Bandera County Fire Marshal John Stith. Working in conjunction with Kerr County Constable James 'Charlie' Hicks, Stith secured the felony warrant for the arrest of Dalton Charles Williams, 24. Hicks formerly served as City of Bandera Marshal before being appointed to his current law enforcement position in Kerr County.
At 12:28 am on Feb. 16, emergency dispatch was informed of a vehicle that was on fire in the 4500 block of Old School Road, which is off Lower Mason Creek Road. When Bandera County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Gerald 'Jerry' Johnson responded to the call, he found a 2012 Ford 250 pickup truck engulfed in flames.
While at the scene, Johnson interviewed witnesses who said they had given someone a ride from the wrecked truck to Center Point, according to BCSO Chief Deputy Matt King. The man supposedly told the Good Samaritans he had overturned the vehicle earlier. However, in the course of the investigation, it was determined that the man - later identified as Williams - had later allegedly returned to the site of the crash and set the vehicle on fire.
During the investigation, it was also determined that the vehicle had earlier been reported stolen in Kerr County. Shortly after receiving information that a suspect had been identified, Stith secured a felony arrest warrant for Williams. However, according to both Stith and Hicks, after that, finding the suspect became somewhat problematic.
In an interview on Wednesday, April 8, Hicks said the search finally paid off when a CrimeStoppers tip indicated Williams was still in the area. "We had heard he had had fled the state and was possibly in West Virginia," Hicks said.
Accompanied by a Kerr County Sheriff's Office deputy, Hicks went to the suspect's home. "We banged on the door, but he wouldn't let us in. We made a big show about going away, but we actually hid around the corner," Hicks explained.
When Williams thought he had eluded law enforcement authorities, he came out of the house and began making his way to his car. "At that point, we took out after him, but he ran back into the house and barricaded himself in," Hicks said.
At that point, other officers were called for backup.
After the suspect's sister arrived on the scene, she talked Williams into surrendering peacefully.
When asked why Williams had allegedly torched the truck, Stith speculated that during the joyride, the vehicle had likely been trashed and the suspect was worried about possible ramifications.
According to King, Williams has also been charged with the theft of the truck and other charges may be pending. However, King noted, no arrest warrant has yet been issued against Williams for the alleged theft. Additionally, other suspects related to the theft of the truck remain under investigation.
King also said that the cases against Williams were brought before the 198th Judicial District Grand Jury on Tuesday, April 14.