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Spokane police arrest man accused of trying to burn down ex-wife's house

Spokane Police said the man crashed his car through the garage door and then poured gasoline around the area.
Credit: KREM 2

SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane Police arrested a man Tuesday night after they say he tried to burn down the house of his ex-wife.

Police were called to the house near East 35th Ave. and South Smith St. around 9:15 p.m. According to a media release from Spokane Police, the woman at the home told police dispatch that her ex-husband was intoxicated and had crashed his car through the garage door.

Police say the man managed to force his way into the house and assaulted a victim, while another witness reported the suspect had poured gasoline around the garage.

When police arrived, they found the man inside the garage. Spokane Police say he was uncooperative, refused police commands, and tried to get back into the house. Police said in the media release that they used "reasonable force" to stop the suspect and arrest him. Police did not provide details about what force was used.

Police identified the man arrested as 40-year-old Karim Hettal. He was booked into the Spokane Regional Jail Facility for first-degree burglary, second-degree assault, first-degree attempted arson, and second-degree malicious mischief. Police say he was also booked for obstructing a law enforcement officer and DUI.

Spokane Police said the victim had non-life-threatening injuries and the children were not hurt.

Hettal attended his first hearing on Jan. 12.

A family member of the victim at the hearing asked the judge to consider a $1 million bond.

The judge said this was a case like no other.

"I've seen tens of thousands of police reports over my career," judge Raymond Clary said. "I don't think I've ever read one quite like this."

The judge granted no contact orders for the victims and immediate families and issued a $500,000 bond.

Hettal will be appearing in court again on Jan. 25.

Domestic violence resources

If you or someone you know is in a domestic violence situation help is available with Lutheran Community Service Northwest. They have a 24-hour sexual assault crisis line at 509-624-7273.

Click here for more local domestic violence programs

Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE.

Advocates can help you plan for your safety, find resources, and discuss options. It’s free and confidential.

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