Man fails to burn down house, sees what damage he can do with a hammer, documents say

A Tacoma man fighting with his girlfriend tried to set his house on fire with a can of gasoline, then threw a hammer through the front window, Pierce County prosecutors say.

Now the 26-year-old man faces charges of attempted first-degree arson, second-degree assault and third-degree malicious mischief, for which he was charged Friday afternoon in Pierce County Superior Court. He was ordered held without bail pending a mental health evaluation.

According to court documents:

The girlfriend was at home Thursday night when the man came home and walked into the room acting crazy, saying people with guns were trying to kill him.

The man went outside and then ran inside with a gas can with a rag stuffed into the lid, then he lit it on fire.

The woman ran outside and hid in the backyard as the house caught fire. She told police her boyfriend was a heroin addict, but he didn’t act like this.

She had called her stepfather in a panic, telling him what was going on, and he arrived at the house about the same time Tacoma firefighters did.

The fire was quickly put out, and firefighters watched as the man and the stepfather argued in the front yard.

The man then threw a hammer through the front window of the house.

Police arrested him upon their arrival.

Kenny Ocker: 253-597-8627, @KennyOcker