Police: Elizabethton man set fires, uses axe in father's home

John Thompson • Updated Feb 21, 2017 at 6:44 PM

ELIZABETHTON — An Elizabethton man was arrested Monday by the Elizabethton Police Department and charged with arson and vandalism.

Sgt. Curtis Bullock said he responded to 417 Washington Ave. on a call about a disorderly man. When he arrived, he spoke with Rob Remme, who said he was a friend of the homeowner, Paul Perry. Remme told the officer his friend was in the hospital and had asked him to check on the residence and his son, Carl Raymond Perry. Remme said when he arrived, he found that several fires had been set at the residence and holes had been chopped in Paul Perry’s bedroom door with an axe.

Bullock wrote in a police report that he questioned Carl Perry about the incidents and Perry told him he was burning old pictures. He said the pictures had to be burned on the stove rather than with a lighter because they were “toxic.” Bullock then asked Perry if he had used an axe inside the residence. He said Perry told him he had used a “screwdriver” to open his father’s door.

Bullock inspected the house and found it was full of smoke. He said piles of ash were on the eyes of the stove and it appeared an oil lamp had been used to start a fire near the kitchen table. The officer said several large holes had been chopped in Paul Perry’s bedroom door. Several other rooms in the residence were also in disarray and a smoke detector had been disabled, according to the officer.

Perry appeared in Carter County General Sessions Court on Tuesday. Judge Keith Bowers Jr. ordered a mental evaluation of Perry be conducted and set his next court appearance for April 4.