Fire dept: Crain Avenue fire may have been intentional

Sarah Steimer

Read the first article about the police’s Taser gun use on Mike Bartlett.

Following the early morning Sunday fire on Crain Avenue, police had no further comment on the Taser use, but the fire department said the fire might have been caused by arson.

The fire department is waiting for samples to return to determine the cause. But fire chief James Williams said the department is fairly sure the fire was intentionally set.

Kent Police Lt. Jayme Cole said the police department could not comment on the use of a Taser to restrain one of the residents until the case goes to court, which is set for December. According to the levels of resistance report, resident Mike Bartlett was combative and intoxicated.

The City of Kent police department’s use of force policy states that a Taser gun, which is considered “less than lethal force,” is to be used to protect the officers or others from physical harm, restrain or subdue a resistant individual or to bring an unlawful situation safely and effectively under control.

“I am quite confident that once this goes through court that this (restraint with a Taser gun) was a successful resolution to this man’s behavior,” Cole said.

– Sarah Steimer