A Florence man faces three felony counts of attempted arson following a drunken brawl that left his roommate with a dislocated shoulder.
Jerry Allen Slyter, 59, appeared Tuesday before Ravalli County Justice Jim Bailey on the felony counts and misdemeanor charges of assault and resisting arrest.
According to a charging affidavit, the Ravalli County 911 Center received a call at 1:30 a.m. Tuesday about a disturbance at a Florence residence. The person making the call said an intoxicated man was assaulting another person and trying to burn down the home.
An investigation found that Slyter had been in an “intoxicated and agitated state” for several hours before the incident. A neighbor had been at the residence in an attempt to calm him down.
Slyter's roommate told law enforcement he had been in his room when he heard Slyter yelling at him to come out of his room so he could “blacken” his eye. The roommate said he also heard Slyter yelling something about a fire.
When the roommate came out of his room, the affidavit said he saw Slyter holding a can of gasoline that he was attempting to put into the fire in the woodstove located inside the residence.
At that point, the roommate said Slyter put the gas can down on the floor and rushed at him. The roommate was knocked over. He reported suffering a dislocated shoulder and laceration on his toe as a result of ensuring fight.
A woman who had been in the roommate’s room told a deputy she saw the two men fighting on the floor when she came into the front room.
The deputy who responded saw a one-gallon gas can inside the residence.
He also observed that Slyter was “obviously intoxicated and highly agitated,” the affidavit said. When the deputy handcuffed Slyter, the man struggled and had to be taken to the ground and threatened with a taser.
The affidavit said Slyter continued to struggle after being handcuffed, including using his legs to try and physically keep the patrol car’s door from closing.
Bailey set bail at $50,000.