It happened January 23 outside of Bout Time Tavern at 53 Lake Street.
According to court documents, police and firefighters were sent to the bar around 9:37 that evening on a report of a vehicle fire. They found a 2018 Ford F350 truck engulfed in fire. After the fire was put out, remnants of a burnt up red gas can were located in the area.
Bar staff told police that a man was kicked out of the establishment that night, and he remained outside for a period of time before driving away. Security video showed a person walking up to the truck from the southwest, through an alley, before the fire. The person appeared to be carrying something heavy as he approached the truck. That’s where the person remained until there was a bright flash beneath the truck, followed by an intense fire.
The person then ran away in the same direction, through the alley. Police said the clothes of this person were consistent with the man who was kicked out of the bar.
Five days later, the man returned to the bar. Bar staff called police, who identified him as 39-year-old Cody J. Hempy.
Police say security video from the night of the fire showed Hempy pumping five gallons of gasoline into a gas can a station a block south of the bar. The gas was paid for using a credit card for an account belonging to Hempy’s mother, police said.
Police said Hempy left the gas station four minutes before the fire started outside the bar.
Prosecutors asked for a $100k bond at a court hearing Thursday afternoon. Hempy is currently on probation in Florida from cases involving aggravated stalking and witness intimidation.