PUNXSUTAWNEY — A Punxsutawney man is facing multiple counts of reckless endangerment after allegedly attempting to light his family home on fire, according to court documents.
Punxsutawney-based state police filed charges against Walter Willis Foster Jr., 48, of Punxsutawney, including terroristic threats with intent to terrorize another person, simple assault, five counts of recklessly endangering another person, and harassment.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, police responded to an incident where the caller reported Foster was attempting to light a home on fire using a gasoline can.
When police arrived, Foster had already fled the scene into the woods near the home. Officers interviewed two victims who live in the home with Foster. Police noted there are also three children who live in the home as well, according to the affidavit.
One victim told police an argument escalated when Foster allegedly said he was going to burn the house down and “you’re going to get what’s coming to you.”
The victim followed Foster into the home, followed by another victim, who both told police they saw Foster light a fire in the living room, and saw smoke coming from the kitchen, according to the affidavit. Both victims reported a fire being lit in the kitchen trash can that had to be extinguished. Before leaving the home, Foster allegedly attempted to start another fire by lighting paperwork on the television stand.
Once outside, Foster allegedly took a gas can and started pouring it on the siding of the home and front porch.
Police were told one of the children then took the gas can from Foster and ran with it. According to a victim, Foster began to chase the child and one of the victims attempted to call 911. One victim reported to police Foster hit them while attempting to get the phone. Police noted a cut and swelling on the victim’s face in the affidavit.
At this time, a neighbor came outside and observed what was happening, according to the affidavit. The neighbor called police and reported Foster attempting to set the house on fire. The neighbor told police they heard Foster say he was going to burn the house down, and the neighbor took the children into their home for safety.
Foster has waived his right to a preliminary hearing, and posted $50,000 bail on Sept. 11.