Arson Charge for Man Accused of Starting Fire at North Miami Beach School

A man is facing an arson charge after police say he started a fire outside a North Miami Beach school while children and teachers were inside.

Brian Patrick Yerdon, 38, was arrested Wednesday on charges of first-degree arson, threatening a law enforcement officer and criminal mischief, according to an arrest report released Thursday.

According to the report, Yerdon started the fire in a planter attached to the building at Allison Academy at 1881 Northeast 164th Street back on May 11.

School security cameras captured him walking up to the planter around 12:30 p.m. where he gathered paper, leaves, dirt and sticks then used a cigarette lighter to ignite the debris before walking away, the report said. Classes were in session, with children and adults in the building.

Officers were able to identify Yerdon from the security footage and he was found Wednesday. Once at the police station he spontaneously said he lives near the academy and knows it's a school, the report said.

While Yerdon was in the holding cell area he became upset with the charges against him, balled up his fist and threatened to break an officer's jaw, the report said. Once he was in a holding cell, he threw urine-soaked toilet paper on the glass and wiped toilet paper with feces on it on the glass, the report said.

When officers tried to restrain him, Yerdon said he hears voices and they are telling him to kill cops, the report said. He said as soon as he gets out he would be back to kill officers, the report said.

Yerdon was being held on $13,500 bond Thursday, jail records showed. Attorney information wasn't immediately available.

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