WINTHROP – An Independence man has been arrested for allegedly setting a fire at a duplex where his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend was living.
Court records allege 21-year-old Harry “Henry” Nicholas Federspiel dressed in all black, covered his face with a scarf or bandanna, and had a wig. But his intended victim recognized his voice and his shoes -- white Champions with pink and blue accents -- because he was with him when he bought the shoes.
Buchanan County sheriff’s deputies arrested Federspiel for first-degree arson and first-degree burglary. His bond was set at $25,000 cash only.
Authorities allege Federspiel set off a number of flammable or explosive devices in the basement of 315 220th St., Winthrop, in the early morning hours of Aug. 4 where Christopher Melka lived. Federspiel allegedly called and threatened Melka and phoned his ex-girlfriend and told her to leave the apartment in advance.
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Shortly after the calls, around 3 a.m., Melka went to take his dog inside and noticed smoke coming from the basement, and he saw a figure dressed in black clothing wearing the Champion shoes when he went to investigate. When the man lit something, Melka started running away, and he heard an explosion behind him.
He called 911, and deputies found the fire and extinguished it, according to court records.
Deputies said there were seven people in the two apartments at the time.
Deputies searched Federspiel’s Sixth Avenue home and found masks, black clothing, the shoes, and other evidence.