Fire Marshal: Arsonists were settling the score

Three South Montgomery County men were arrested early Monday charged with what police say was retaliation for a drug deal gone wrong. Investigators believe the trio had already torched a $40,000 car and were about to set something else ablaze when police interrupted.

Montgomery County Fire Marshal Jimmy Williams said 25-year-old John Ethan Cassidy went to Creekside Village Park Apartments for a planned drug transaction Sunday night and instead three men robbed him at gunpoint. A shotgun was used, but as of late Monday, it was not determined if shots were fired.

One big problem with being the victim of a robbery while selling drugs is that filing a police report is not an option. Retaliation, however, may be considered.

Williams said Cassidy and his associates, 22-year-old Eddie Lee Coleman and 25-year-old Christopher Louis Game decided to get revenge, which is why Cassidy was approaching a home in the 28300 block of Shining Creek Lane off of Riley Fuzzell “carrying items to be used in an incendiary device” when Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputies stopped and detained him.

Deputies also found and arrested Coleman and Game, who were parked and waiting nearby in a blacked out vehicle, Williams said.

All three are charged with possession of an incendiary device, a third-degree felony.

Williams said the trio faces additional charges including arson of a vehicle, a second-degree felony, in connection with the burning of a 2010 Mercedes on W. Misty Morning Trace just after midnight. The car, which was a total loss, belonged to the parents of one of the men who Cassidy and the others targeted for revenge, Williams said.

Investigators believe Cassidy was about to burn a second vehicle when he was stopped with a gasoline soaked rag, and Williams said things would likely have continued to intensify if not for the swift response of the Sheriff’s Office. The Fire Marshal has no doubt guns would have again become involved, possibly with more lost than a car.

Investigators are still searching for a .44 magnum.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Montgomery County Fire Marshal’s Office at (936) 538-8288.

Those who wish to remain anonymous can contact Montgomery County Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-392-(STOP)7867. Tips may be submitted online by visiting www.montgomerycountycrimestoppers.org.

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