Police in Howard County have arrested a man whom they say assaulted a woman before deliberately setting a fire in his apartment in Columbia.
Alejandro Adolfo Rodriguez, 25, was arrested Saturday afternoon in the 5400 block of Eliots Oak Road in Columbia.
Police were sent to the apartment complex where Rodriguez lived in the 5300 block of Harpers Farm Road after an assault report was received Friday evening. When they arrived, police found a 25-year-old woman who lived in the apartment complex in the parking lot, suffering from "visible injuries." Then, authorities say that Rodriguez stuck his head out of a second-floor apartment and began shouting obscenities at the officers, who were approaching the building.
Then, officers saw a fire break out in the apartment. They believe Rodriguez fled through a rear window. He is charged with first-and second-degree assault, first- and second-degree arson, and malicious burning. The assault victim was treated at the scene and released.
The fire was put out by Howard County Fire and Rescue Services at around 10:30 p.m. No injuries were reported, but 17 residents were displaced.