Released by Lt. B. Henderson
PITTSBURG, KANSAS – On Sunday morning, September 27, 2020, at approximately 5:25 AM, units from the Pittsburg Fire Department and Pittsburg Police Department were dispatched to the residence located at 615 E. 22nd St., Pittsburg, in reference to a report of an active structure fire. Neighbors in the area reported hearing a loud noise and then observing the structure at 615 E. 22nd on fire. One of the residents of 615 E. 22nd St., later identified as 38-year-old Justin L. Smutz, was observed walking away from the structure after it was already ablaze, and then standing in the front yard watching the fire.
While officers were on scene with Justin, he became agitated toward one of the other residents and tried to strike them, and Justin was taken into custody without further incident. He was later transported to the jail at the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office. An investigator from the Kansas State Fire Marshal’s Office responded to process the scene, and items of evidence were located within the residence indicating the fire had been intentionally set.
Justin Smutz was arrested for felony arson, misdemeanor assault and for violation of the conditions of parole (Kansas Department of Corrections). Mr. Smutz is currently being held in lieu of a $10,000.00 bond.
This incident is still under investigation at this time. Anyone having information related to this incident, or other crimes, is urged to contact the Pittsburg Police Department at (620) 231-1700, or at our automated tip line, (620) 231-TIPS (8477). Callers may remain anonymous.