A Boynton firefighter accused of setting a series of fires surrendered to the Muskogee County Sheriff’s office Tuesday afternoon.
Sheriff Charles Pearson said Dustin Davis, 25, who admitted Thursday to setting a series of fires in the Boynton area, turned himself in about 12:45 p.m. Tuesday.
Deputy Darrin Berry said he called Davis on Tuesday morning to let Davis know that a warrant for his arrest had been issued.
“He came to the sheriff’s office and surrendered to me about 12:45 p.m.,” Berry said. Davis was booked into the Muskogee County/City Detention Facility on $5,000 bond, he said. A jail employee said Davis had been released on bond by mid-afternoon.
Pearson said the warrant was for one count of third-degree arson. He said Davis is a suspect in at least eight fires, so the charge likely will be amended.
Davis told authorities he had set fires in three locations in the Boynton area July 29. Pearson said Davis wasn’t arrested when the confession was made for a variety of reasons.
“I know the fire chief (Boynton Volunteer Fire Department Chief Steve Allen) said Davis was cooperating with their investigation,” Pearson said. “And they had a lot of investigative work to do on all those fires he admitted to.”
Pearson also said Allen, who originally suspected the fires were arsons and eventually identified Davis as the person who set the fires, was monitoring Davis to ensure that he didn’t hurt himself or set other fires.
After Davis admitted to setting the fires, the case was assigned to Muskogee County District Attorney Larry Moore, who was not in his office last week.
“(Allen) said he was not a threat and that (the department was) going to personally watch him until Larry (Moore) could get back and review the case,” Pearson said.
“I think everyone kind of feels bad for the kid, in a way, but that’s no excuse for what he did. What if he set one of these fires and a firefighter went out to fight it and had a heart attack and died? Now this young man would be responsible for that.”
Pearson said Davis is a military veteran who said he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and said he set the fires because he “missed the camaraderie of the military.”
Allen said he suspected the fires were arson because they were set close to water supplies and in a way as to not do much damage.
Pearson called Allen a hero last week and said his quick action could have prevented a fire that could have raged out of control.
“Right now it’s such a dangerous time, this isn’t a joke,” he said. “We’re real fortunate Chief Allen figured this thing out pretty quick.”
Allen, suspecting the fires were arson, went to the McAlester 911 call center and listened to calls made from someone who claimed to have driven past a grassfire. Allen recognized the voice as Davis’ and said the call came from Davis’ cell phone.
The caller, who identifies himself as “Michael,” says he saw the fire as he was driving down the highway. The caller tells the dispatcher that he’s not from Boynton and doesn’t know the roads.
Reach Dylan Goforth at (918) 684-2903 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dustin Davis will appear in court at 9 a.m. Aug. 22 for a sounding docket to determine a date for his preliminary hearing.