Formal charges filed against man accused of violating protective order to commit arson

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WARREN COUNTY, Ind. (WCIA) — Prosecutors are accusing a Lafayette, Ind. man of arson, invasion of privacy, burglary, and trying to flee from police during a high-speed chase into Danville, according to warrants filed Monday in Warren County court.

Documents state Michael Scuteri has been charged with the following four counts:

  • Arson (Level 4 Felony): Scuteri knowingly set fire to a home in rural Attica, Ind. before 3:19 p.m. on Friday.
  • Resisting police (Level 6 Felony): Scuteri intentionally fled from Trooper Chandler Stanton, and others, while driving a car.
  • Invasion of privacy (Class A Misdemeanor): Scuteri knowingly violated a protective order to prevent domestic or family violence.
  • Burglary (Level 4 Felony): Scuteri knowingly broke in and entered a home in rural Attica, Ind., and committed a felony.

The charging documents state Scuteri was obsessed with the victim and a left voicemail on her phone despite being blocked from making calls. In the voicemail, the man threatened to kill himself.

While the victim was away from the home at work, police say, Scuteri was seen by a witness and on security camera video entering the home on Independence Pine Village Road, located northeast of Attica, Ind.

Investigators say the main fire was set in the victim’s bedroom. Her mattress and box spring were completely burnt by the flames, the docket says.

Detectives add a second fire had been set in the opposite end of the house. The court docket says something the size of a picture had been ignited and set down on a desk in the room.

The docket says Scuteri was seen on security camera footage driving to the arson victim’s home and taking two packages off the front porch that had just been dropped off. Police say he was then seen speeding away from the home.

The charging dockets state Trooper Stanton spotted Scuteri’s car around 6:22 p.m. Friday on U.S. Route 136 near Indiana State Road 63 in Warren County. The trooper then started pursuing his vehicle.

Police say the chase went from State Road 63 on U.S. Route 136 west into Danville. Several squad cars had their lights and sirens turned on. The man then crashed his car in Danville, according to the documents.

Investigators asked him how his car caught on fire. The documents say Scuteri told police that he had a battery in his vehicle and he thought that’s what started the fire.

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