A 30-year-old Vian man, accused of trying to set fire to the Canterbury Church in Vian on Christmas Eve, led police on a foot chase through Vian before his arrest.
According to the police report filed with the charges, Johnathon Lloyd Schneider was seen by witnesses trying to set fire to the church door and air conditioning unit. Police reported Schneider fled before they arrived, but an officer knew where the suspect was staying. At that residence, Schneider was seen running from the house to the garage. When police attempted to approach Schneider, he ran from the garage back to the house and left the house through the front door. The report says Schneider then ran down streets, through yards and jumped fences before he was captured on Mill Street.
During his arrest, Schneider, the report alleges, also spit on one of the arresting officers.
Schneider was charged on Dec. 28 in Sequoyah County District Court, Sallisaw, with fourth-degree arson and prisoner placing body fluid on government employee. He entered a not guilty plea to the charges on Jan. 4, and has applied for a court-appointed attorney. His next scheduled court appearance is on Associate District Judge Kyle Waters felony disposition docket on Feb. 22.
The suspect is being held in the Sequoyah County Jail on a $20,000 bond.
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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