Officials announce arrest of man who set Portage County deputy on fire

February 15, 2019

Officials announce arrest of man who set Portage County deputy on fire

ROOTSTOWN, Ohio – Officials have identified and charged a man accused of setting a Portage County sheriff’s deputy on fire Valentine’s Day while serving a warrant.

Jay Brannon, 49, of Atwater doused Sgt. James Acklin with a flammable liquid and set him on fire during the incident that happened about 6:45 p.m. on Ohio 44, officials say.

Acklin was taken to the burn unit at Akron Children’s Hospital, according to a news release. He suffered severe burns and is still in the hospital,Portage County Sheriff David Doak said in a news release.

Brannon is charged with attempted aggravated murder, aggravated arson, the news release says.

Authorities received information that Acklin was at in a building on a property on Ohio 44, according to a news release.

Brannon was found crouched in front of a pickup truck that was in the process of being repaired, the news release said.

Brannon lit a can of flammable liquid, made threats towards Acklin, saying he was going to “kill the cops,” the news release said. He also commented that he wanted the officers to kill him.

Brannon threw the can of liquid at the officers, striking Acklin.Officers rushed to help Acklin while others took Brannon into custody.

The home also caught on fire and sustained heavy damage, the sheriff’s office said.

Medics treated two other officers for smoke inhalation and released them at University Hospitals, the release says.

Brannon is being held in Portage County Jail pending an arraignment date.

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