Ansonia man who faked kidnapping arrested for setting Shelton fire

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SHELTON – A man who police say faked his own kidnapping then set fire to a business, has been arrested by Shelton police Wednesday.

The arrest stems from an incident that occurred on Monday, June 8 just after midnight, when a fire was reported at Honey Cell on Bridgeport Avenue, according to police.

First-responders found some fire damage to an office at Honey Cell but the automatic fire suppression system had extinguished the fire. There were several employees inside the business when the fire started.

Shortly after the fire was reported, a 911 call was received from 31-year-old Allister James of Ansonia, who said that he was recently kidnapped. Police responded to the commuter lot on Bridgeport Avenue to speak with him.

According to police, James told them he was kidnapped at gunpoint and forced to break into Honey Cell, where he worked, and spread gasoline in an office. While spreading gasoline, he said, one of the kidnappers then set the office on fire.

An ambulance took James to the hospital for injuries sustained by the fire.

Shelton Detectives, the Fire Marshal, and the State Police Fire and Explosion Unit investigated and were unable to validate James’ claim of being kidnapped. They determined that he was responsible for the intentional fire.

James was charged with first-degree-burglary, first-degree arson, first-degree reckless endangerment and first-degree criminal mischief.

He was being held on a $250,000 bail and is expected to be arraigned Thursday at Derby Court.