A Caledonia man was charged Wednesday with arson after he set the basement carpet floor on fire, according to a complaint filed by the Racine County District Attorney’s Office.

Todd Flashinski, 38, was charged by the Racine County District Attorney’s Office with arson of a building, attempted battery of a peace officer, disorderly conduct – domestic abuse, resisting an officer, criminal damage to property – domestic abuse, and two counts of first degree recklessly endangering safety.

If convicted of all charges, Flashinski faces up to 70 years nine months in prison and/or fined up to $176,300.

Flashinski’s attorney, Mark Richards, filed motions to dismiss the arson, attempted battery, and resisting an officer charge, but Racine County Court Commissioner Alice Rudebusch denied the motion.

According to the criminal complaint, officers with the Caledonia Police Department responded to a report of Flashinski setting the carpet in the basement on fire on Oct. 5 in his residence in the 5500 block of River Hills Road. Flashinski, who has a bipolar disorder, suffers from depression and takes medication. He went out to eat with a family member and spilled something on his clothes. After returning home, the family member washed Flashinski’s clothes and told him he thought he left a suitcase key in his pants.

The family member said he didn’t need the key and he didn’t know what he was referring to. The family member walked away and left Flashinski in the basement, but then smelled something burning and saw him lighting the carped on fire. The man grabbed a fire extinguisher and put out the fire, but Flashinski got upset and told him: “I’m going to make the police shoot me.”

The man waited for police to arrive. But Flashinski took gasoline, poured it on the carpet and he ran upstairs. Police got on scene and used their electronic control device on Flashinski to subdue him. While police talked to the Flashinski’s relative, they smelled smoke and called the fire department.

Flashinski was taken to Wheaton Franciscan-All Saints Mental Health Hospital on a voluntary commitment. He’s out on a $10,000 signature bond. A preliminary hearing has been set for 8:30 a.m. Nov. 4 in front of Rudebusch.

 

 

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.