A man remains in jail on $10,000 bail on allegations he set fire to tables and chairs outside a downtown Kennewick nightclub.
Scott G. Erdman, 54, has pleaded innocent in Benton County Superior Court to second-degree arson. His trial is set for Oct. 24.
Erdman also has a pending residential burglary case for allegedly removing the door from the trailer of a Kennewick neighbor and discharging a fire extinguisher inside. That case has a Sept. 26 trial date.
Erdman has been in the Benton County jail since Sept. 1, the same day prosecutors say he was seen leaving the scene of the suspicious fire.
Police and firefighters responded to 109 W. Kennewick Ave. shortly after 5:30 a.m. and found burned debris and a partially burned cargo container inside a fenced-off area outside the club, court documents said.
Security video footage showed a man set the fire inside the fenced area, before he ran off while pulling a rolling suitcase.
The manager of an adjacent property reported coming into contact with a man pulling a bag earlier that morning before the fire, documents said. The man with the luggage was identified as Erdman.
Later that day, a Kennewick arson investigator called 911 after seeing Erdman wandering around near Columbia Drive and Alder Street, police said.
Erdman was arrested and admitted being at the location where the fire was set, but denied being responsible, according to court documents.
In the unrelated case, a 1302 S. Date St. resident awoke early Dec. 23 to loud noises and possible smoke inside his trailer.
The man went to his front door only to find it had been pried off, court documents said. A fire extinguisher also had been discharged into his house.
Benton County sheriff’s deputies recovered an unknown cellphone on the front steps and, since it was on, used it to call 911.
That helped deputies link the phone to Erdman, who himself had called emergency dispatch one hour prior to report an assault, documents said.
Erdman lived in a nearby trailer at the time. Deputies who responded earlier said the assault was unfounded.
When later asked about the burglary, Erdman admitted prying his neighbor’s door off because he believed that a woman named “Jody” was being held inside against her will and he wanted to get her out, court documents said.
He also acknowledged dropping his phone outside the front door.
Deputies noted that Erdman had white powder on his clothes consistent with fire retardant, and he appeared to be having mental health concerns at the time, documents said.
No woman named Jody was found at the trailer or is believed to be involved in the incident.