Arkansas City man arrested on suspicion of aggravated arson
Juvenile also arrested in connection with Dec. 2 fire at the Hamburger Shack
An Arkansas City man and a juvenile were arrested by the Arkansas City Police Department in connection with an arson that occurred Dec. 2 in Ark City.
Brandon Michael Cleverley, 18, was arrested Dec. 2 on suspicion of aggravated arson. He was transported to and booked into the Cowley County Jail in Winfield in lieu of $10,000 bond through Cowley County District Court in Arkansas City. Cleverley remained in custody at the time of this release.
A 16-year-old Arkansas City female was interviewed later and arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit aggravated arson.
Officers responded Dec. 2 to a report of a fire that had been extinguished inside the Hamburger Shack, 611 W. Madison Ave. They interviewed three employees who had extinguished the flames.
The workers reported passing by the business and seeing visible flames, then entering the restaurant to put them out.
They reported seeing Cleverley, a co-worker, walking away from the area.
A brief verbal exchange took place at that time, after which Cleverley ran away and two employees gave chase, they reported. A passing witness assisted them by calling the police department.
Cleverley was brought back to the business. He and the other employees were questioned about the circumstances of the fire by police and an arson investigator from the Ark City Fire-EMS Department.
Police learned the suspect allegedly had attempted to start several areas on fire and was successful in lighting a gas line on fire prior to leaving the business. He was interviewed and later arrested.
Because another business shares an adjoining wall with the Hamburger Shack and there were several people inside that business at the time of the fire, the case is being treated as aggravated arson.
A defendant’s guilt or innocence is to be determined by a court of law.