Dover man charged with setting multiple fires

DOVER — A surveillance video review was part of an investigation that brought the felony arrest of a 62-year-old Dover man accused of intentionally setting fires at Clearfield Apartments over the past six months, Dover Police said.

Dail Morris was charged with two counts of first-degree arson and other alleged offenses for incidents at two buildings between May and October, spokesman Master Cpl. Mark Hoffman said.

In a probable cause affidavit, police said a white male with no shirt on and wearing shorts was seen on video Thursday walking from the scene of a 2002 Mitsubishi Eclipse convertible fire at approximately 12:05 a.m.

According to police, Mr. Dail fit that description when interviewed by an investigator about a fire the day before, authorities said.

“(Mr.) Dail yelled down to us from his apartment balcony that he saw someone by the dumpsters for the earlier fire,” police wrote in court documents, noting that he was a white male with white hair, wearing no shirt with shorts on at the time of contact.

Authorities detailed several fires and approximate times in the 100 and 110 buildings on Haman Drive, including:

• May 5 at 8:57 p.m., in a trashcan.

• Aug. 26 at 9:35 p.m., in a trashcan.

• Aug. 26 at 10:47 p.m., in a trashcan.

• Aug. 26 at 11:58 p.m., in a hallway.

• Sept. 10 at 11:42 p.m., in a dumpster in the parking lot.

• Sept. 11 at 12:35 a.m., in a dumpster in the parking lot.

• Sept. 13 at 10 p.m., in a dumpster in the parking lot.

• Wednesday, at 8:18 p.m., in a dumpster in the parking lot

• Wednesday, at 8:51 p.m., inside of a laundry room.

• Thursday, at 12:15 a.m., on a vehicle causing approximately $2,600 in damage.

The laundry room fire caused approximately $400 damage and “there were multiple occupied apartments at the time of the fire,” police said in the affidavit.

The City of Dover Fire Marshall’s Office investigated the incidents, court documents said.

Mr. Morris was transported to the Dover Police Department on Thursday for a post-Miranda interview, authorities said.

He allegedly admitted to starting the vehicle fire on Thursday, police said in court documents.

Other charges included second-degree arson and seven counts of reckless burning. Mr. Morris was committed to Sussex Correctional Institution in Georgetown in lieu of $28,500 secured bond.

In an Aug. 26 interview, police said, Mr. Dail was considered a witness, while another person whose name was redacted said he was present for two fires.

 

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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