Woman charged in Tacoma church day care fire arrested

Staff writerOctober 17, 2013 

A woman charged in connection with a fire inside a Tacoma church day care last year was arrested Thursday by Pierce County sheriff’s deputies.

Darcy Chase, 30, is charged with first-degree arson and second-degree conspiracy to commit arson. She had a bench warrant out for her arrest. Prosecutors charged six people in connection with the May 2, 2012, incident at the Church of God in Christ center.

A large rock put on the gas pedal of a van, stolen the night before, caused the vehicle to crash into the day care just before it opened that morning, police said. According to charging papers, investigators found the next morning that someone lit three small fires inside the day care.

No one was hurt in the fire or the crash, which caused more than $27,000 in damage.

According to charging papers, Chase told police she had been on a “methamphetamine binge” at the time, and barely remembered driving two of the other defendants to a gas station – part of a failed attempt to torch the van.

Bench warrants have also been issued for Alvin Lee, 26, and Eugene Henderson, 27. Also charged in the case are Kenneth Baines Jr., 24; Jonathan Hazel, 26; and Mitchell Knapp-Patterson, 21.

Several of the defendants told police the fire and crash were part of an insurance scam, but police and prosecutors have declined questions about the scam and who would benefit.

Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268

alexis.krell@thenewstribune.com

www.thenewstribune.com/crime-news

@amkrell

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