Suspected Walgreens arsonist rearrested day after bail posted

Suspected Walgreens arsonist rearrested day after bail posted

ST. CLOUD — St. Cloud police and firefighters responded to an apartment fire shortly after 3 p.m. on June 2. Upon responding to the call, authorities discovered the unit reportedly belonged to James Lund, who had been released on bail from the Stearns County Jail the day before.

Lund also faces arson and drug possession charges stemming from a June 17 incident in which he allegedly poured alcohol into a car and set it on fire while the driver waited in a Walgreens drive-thru, according to a complaint filed in Stearns County District Court.

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When officers arrived at the 500 block of 8th Avenue South on July 2, they found the words “kill judge” written on the wall of Lund’s living room. Officers also found an empty refill for a multi-purpose lighter next to a torch lighter and damage between the refrigerator and the wall, the complaint said.

Police eventually found Lund around 3:30 p.m. near Fifth Avenue and Fourth Street South. When officers approached him, he was carrying a butane lighter in one of his pockets. Lund denied setting the fire in the apartment, confirmed there were no electrical problems and said he could not smell smoke, the complaint states.

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When asked how the fire started, the complaint states that Lund “suggested (to the officers) that people with drones could have started the fire, but he could not explain how that was possible.”

Another resident in Lund’s building told authorities that they saw Lund at 1:30 p.m. when he appeared to be under the influence of narcotics, the complaint said. Both the other resident and someone who was staying with Lund at the time said they saw smoke coming from Lund’s apartment at the time of the fire in question.

When Lund appeared in court on his first charge of arson, the judge ordered a Rule 20 mental health and developmental evaluation, which he is expected to undergo later this month.

Corey Schmidt covers local government for the St. Cloud Times. He can be reached at [email protected].