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David Michael Boland was charged with starting a fire at this building on Kenmount Road Friday morning. Anthony Crocker, the corrections officer who was charged with assaulting Boland in 2014, was cleared of those charges just three days earlier on Tuesday.
David Michael Boland was charged with starting a fire at this building on Kenmount Road Friday morning. Anthony Crocker, the corrections officer who was charged with assaulting Boland in 2014, was cleared of those charges just three days earlier on Tuesday. - Juanita Mercer

Corrections officer was cleared of assaulting the alleged arsonist three days earlier

A Mount Pearl man charged with arson Friday morning for setting fire to a structure on Kenmount Road is no stranger to the courts.

When David Michael Boland, now 41, was brought to the drunk tank back in August 2014, it set off a series of events that resulted in a four-year court battle.

Corrections officer Anthony Crocker was charged with assaulting Boland when he put him in the lockup. Video surveillance showed Crocker striking the inmate after Boland spat at him.

Crocker was initially found guilty of the charge and lost his job, but he appealed his conviction and was cleared of the charges on Tuesday this week.

The fire that landed Boland in police custody again around 3 a.m. Friday morning was started just three days after Crocker was cleared of assaulting Boland.

Related story:

Former corrections officer Anthony Crocker cleared of assault charge

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) and St. John’s Regional Fire Department responded to the fire at a building that’s under renovation on Kenmount Road – it’s the old Spirit of Halloween building, right next to Furniture Market.

When officers arrived, they were told a man had fled the scene, but he was soon apprehended by officers with the help of police dogs.

Boland was brought to the lockup and held for court.

At 9:30 a.m. Friday morning, he was charged with breaking and entering with intent, arson, public mischief by diverting suspicion, resisting or obstructing a peace officer, and failure to comply with a probation order.

At court Friday morning, Boland consented to remain in custody until his scheduled bail hearing this Tuesday.

RNC Const. James Cadigan said Friday afternoon he didn’t have any information about how Boland allegedly started the fire or the extent of the damages, though he said the officer who arrived on scene reported that he “could see flames.”

Officers are still gathering information.

When The Telegram visited the work site Friday afternoon, several workers in hard hats were working on the building renovation.

One worker said he could see the wire security fence around the building was cut on the side nearest the Furniture Market.

He said it appeared scrap material around the building was used to start the fire.

juanita.mercer@thetelegram.com

Twitter: @juanitamercer_

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