July 17th, 2024

Arsonist to be sentenced in the new year

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on December 2, 2023.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A 38-year-old man who pleaded guilty earlier this month to several criminal offences, including arson and assaulting a peace officer, is scheduled to be sentenced early in the new year.

Joe Zwart is set to be sentenced Feb. 5 on single counts of arson, assaulting a peace officer, attempted theft of a motor vehicle, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, failure to attend court, and two counts of failure to comply with release conditions.

The charges relate to an incident on May 30 at a northside home where a man armed himself with weapons, refused to leave and set the house on fire.

Police said that while firefighters fought the blaze, the man exited the home and was apprehended by police service dog Robby. He was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

The home was badly damaged by the fire and uninhabitable, but no one was injured and there was no damage to neighbouring properties, which were evacuated during the incident. Police also closed public access to Dave Elton Park as a safety precaution.

Although agreed statements of fact, which describe the circumstances surrounding the incident, were entered as exhibits during Wednesday’s hearing, they were not read aloud in court.

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