SPP man charged with arson for garage fireA St. Paul Park man was charged recently with first-degree arson for allegedly setting a South St. Paul garage on fire.
By: Scott Wente, South Washington County Bulletin
A St. Paul Park man was charged recently with first-degree arson for allegedly setting a South St. Paul garage on fire.
Leland A. Ystenes, 22, allegedly set a residential two-car detached garage with a truck inside on fire and sprayed the words “drug addict” on the front of the residence in November of 2007, according to the Dakota County District Court complaint.
On Nov. 14, 2007, around 9 p.m., South St. Paul residents called 911 to report an explosion. The garage was totally engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived, according to the court complaint.
A resident in the multi-family home adjacent to the garage told police that shortly before the explosion, Ystenes, who they knew, had been pounding on the back door, but the resident told him to leave. Another resident heard the explosion, then looked out the window and saw Ystenes running away from the garage and down the alley, according to the complaint. The residents said Ystenes had been mad at them over some property he claimed they had, according to the complaint.
Investigators found a trail of fire accelerant running from the alley to the truck inside the garage, and smelled gasoline in the area, according to the complaint.
Yestenes’ brother, who lives in St. Paul Park, told police Ystenes had arrived at the home after 9 p.m. that night out of breath and excited, and told him to turn on the news, according the court complaint.
Police went to Ystenes’ mother’s house in Dunn County, Wis., and arrested him following a vehicle chase and foot pursuit.
The garage and truck were a total loss, and vehicles parked across the alley from the explosion were also damaged, according to the court complaint.
Ystenes faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and maximum fine of $20,000 for the first-degree arson charge. He was previously charged in Washington County District Court for stealing musical instruments and other items from Oltman Junior High School.