Subject: ArsonDate: 05-31-2012 05:58:35
From: Sgt. Chris GiffordCase or Incident: #120530-001

On 05-30-2012 at 11:53 PM, JPD received a report of possible vandalism to a business in the Auke Bay Harbor area. The caller reported hearing glass breaking, a man leaving the area, and a glow coming from inside of the building. Officers responded and found a fire burning inside of the business. The arriving officer was able to put the fire out with an extinguisher. There was a single occupant inside of the building, who was able to get out without injury.

The witness to the incident reported seeing the suspect leave the scene in the direction of the Auke Bay Harbor float. Officers searching that area contacted an intoxicated male subject on a fishing vessel in the harbor. The man, 53 year-old Sitka resident James Lee Jespersen, was detained while police conducted the investigation. Officers served a search warrant on Jespersenís vessel, and he was later charged with Arson in the First Degree, a class A felony. Jespersen was lodged at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center where he was held without bail.
All factual allegations contained in this release are based upon preliminary investigation and are subject to change or clarification as the investigation continues.    Any charges reported in this release are merely accusations and all persons named in this release are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.*** END OF STATEMENT ***