Barn Fire Suspect Arrested, May be Tried as an Adult
The suspect responsible for lighting a barn on fire while running from the police in Chelan may be tried as an adult after he was arrested on July 29.
17-year-old Connor Leo Strange was caught alongside 28-year-old Kendall Decoteau, who authorities claim is his girlfriend, after robbing a friend of roughly $1800 worth of belongings.
On July 17, a Chelan resident reported finding their car being driven by the duo. Chelan County deputies spotted the pair as they raced up Bradley Street, running through stop signs and almost causing multiple collisions.
When authorities pulled Strange over, the suspect fled south towards the Chelan Rustlers Saddle Club, while Decoteau stayed in the car. Two deputies were able to intercept him in one of the barns at the Chelan Rodeo Fairgrounds.
Once Strange had locked himself inside, deputies slowly started surrounding the barn and cut one of the padlocks locking the opposite barn doors.
After the padlock fell to the ground, deputies took a step back and warned Strange that they were coming in. As the door swung in, an explosion erupted, lighting the barn ablaze.
The two deputies near the door sustained severe injuries, and the deputy on the opposite end of the barn saw the suspect escape through a window and run up a neighboring hill before he finally gave up.
The teen sustained severe injuries from the blast, including both major and minor burns all over his body along with internal injuries. He was taken to Haborview Medical Center in Seattle and was released a few days later.
Authorities released Decoteau shortly after they interviewed her regarding the incident.
Shortly after returning from the hospital, both Strange and Decoteau robbed their friend’s home, which included stealing a shotgun. It was then that the two were finally arrested.
Strange was charged with first-degree assault, first-degree arson, property damage with explosives, firearm theft, and possession of a stolen vehicle.
Decoteau was charged with second-degree theft and firearm theft.
A trial date has not been set yet.