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Lancaster County man allegedly lit himself on fire, rushed officers

Stanley Walden, 38, of Willow Street, allegedly lit himself on fire in court when he learned that he would be taken into custody for violating probation.
Credit: ingest
Flashing lights on top of police patrol car

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. — A Lancaster County man is facing a slew of charges after allegedly threatening to burn an apartment down and then lighting himself on fire in court.

Police say Stanley Walden, 38, of Willow Street, was in court on March 21 to be arraigned for punching a victim during an argument and threatening to burn down his house with his child inside.

The victim also told police that Walden broke a window on his car.

While in court for the March 11 altercation, Walden learned that he would be taken into custody for violating probation. He then allegedly dumped the contents of a clear plastic water bottle he had been holding on himself.

Officers say that as they approached Walden, he lit himself on fire. Police believe the water bottle contained rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover, both of which are flammable accelerants.

Walden, ablaze, allegedly ran towards officers and swung his burning sweatshirt in their direction.

There were eight people in the courtroom, including six law enforcement officers, the magisterial district judge and Walden's mother, police said. 

Police charged Walden with eight counts of recklessly endangering another person and one count of arson endangering property - reckless endangerment of inhabited buildings for the March 21 incident.

He was charged with terroristic threats with intent to terrorize another and criminal mischief - damage property in the altercation which brought him to the courtroom.

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