ODESSA, Texas (KMID/KPEJ)- 58-year-old William Arnett was arrested late last week after investigators said he allegedly set fire to a local business after he was fired from his job. Now, an affidavit has revealed new details about what led up to the events that left the business badly damaged.
According to an affidavit, around 10:00 p.m. on October 19, Arnett argued with a co-worker. The co-worker told investigators that Arnett was upset because he had a punching bag at work and reportedly told him it was “not right to fight on a white man”. Following that argument, the owner of Circle C Trucking said he noticed that Arnett was “drunk” at work and Arnett decided to terminate his employment. A short time later, the employee who had argued with Arnett noticed his punching bag had been set on fire and destroyed.
Just after midnight on October 20, Arnett reportedly returned to the place of business, located in the 2500 block of W Murphy, and was allegedly caught setting fire to some trash near a pile of tires. Arnett’s co-worker said he tried to put out the fire, but it got too big, and he called 911 for help.
Investigators with the Odessa Police Department were notified that Arnett was seen leaving the scene of the fire in a white Chevrolet Trailblazer. Around 1:50 a.m., officers said they saw the suspect vehicle in the 2000 block of Maurice and tried to conduct a traffic stop. Investigators said when they tried to get behind Arnett’s vehicle, he veered off the roadway and into the far-left lane before correcting. He eventually pulled over and officers said they noticed the strong smell of alcohol coming from Arnett, who also reportedly had slurred speech, red eyes, and nearly fell over while exiting his vehicle.
Officers asked Arnett to perform a series of field sobriety tests, but he refused; he also refused to complete a breathalyzer test, the affidavit stated. Arnett was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving and was taken to the Ector County Law Enforcement Center where he was additionally charged with Arson of a Building. He remained in custody as of Monday afternoon on a $26,000 bond.