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Man tries to set himself on fire following NC police chase

Police in North Carolina arrested a man who they said tried to set himself on fire following an overnight chase.

According to Gaston County police, the man's auto matched the description of a vehicle that was wanted in connection to a mobile home fire that occurred on Landau Circle Wednesday night.

Investigators say Christopher Brannon Watkins, 26, of Dallas not only tried to set himself and his auto on fire, but he set fire to a mobile home on September 20 in the Dallas area of Gaston County.

Police said 26-year-old Christopher Watkins burned a mobile home on Landau Circle Wednesday.

"The suspect doused himself with some type of chemical accelerant and attempted to light himself on fire", said Gaston County Police Sergeant JT Avery told the Observer's news partner WBTV. "It's very unusual, very scary".

Luckily, no one was inside the home during the fire as Watkins' wife had collected her belongings and children before the fire.

Police said the man will face several traffic charges and possibly an arson charge for setting the vehicle on fire.

Watkins was charged with fraudulent burning of a dwelling home, burning personal property and felony flee to elude. He was placed in the custody of the Gaston County Jail with a $100,000 bond.

Prosecutors called Watkins a unsafe man that seemed to have a death wish for himself and his family.

The judge ordered a psychological assessment for Watkins.



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