Archive for Sunday, November 5, 2000

Four people arrested in Ottawa arson

November 5, 2000


Franklin County Sheriff's investigators arrested four young men Friday night on suspicion of arson Wednesday night at a home in the 2900 block of Nevada Terrace in Ottawa.

Ian Theilman, 18, Ottawa, Rodney Badders, 20, Ottawa, a 17-year-old Pomona boy and a 17-year-old Ottawa boy were arrested Friday. Kansas Bureau of Investigation, Ottawa Police Department, Ottawa Fire Department and Kansas State Fire Marshal officials aided in the investigation.

The scene of the arson was not far from the home of an elderly couple who were severely beaten by intruders Tuesday or Wednesday.

Sheriff's officials refused to comment on whether the incidents were related and said only that the assault of Howard Johnson, 84, and his wife, Vivian, 86, was still under investigation Saturday. Two other suspicious fires that occurred Wednesday night in Ottawa also are being investigated.

Authorities said they don't know when the assault happened. They became aware of the crime about 3:26 p.m. Wednesday, when one of the Johnsons summoned the strength to call an ambulance. It remained unclear Saturday whether anything was stolen from their home.

The husband and wife were both listed in serious condition Saturday at Overland Park Regional Medical Center.

The four young men arrested also were suspected of damaging a fountain early Wednesday in Ottawa's Haley Park.

Theilman and Badders were being held Saturday at the Franklin County Jail. No bond had been set. Officials declined comment on where or whether the two juveniles were being held.

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