Oct. 13--Police have arrested an 18-year-old in connection with a arson-related fire last summer at a south Charlotte church.
Jonathan Paul Dover is charged with setting fire to a church or religious building and with breaking and entering into a place of worship with the intent to commit a felony. He was in the Mecklenburg County jail late Sunday on a $4,000 bond.
Police haven't released a motive in the case, which happened in July at Providence Baptist Church on Randolph Road. Dover has no prior criminal record in North Carolina, according to an Observer search.
On Friday, police released pictures of a man whom they said was a person of interest in the case. In the pictures, which were captured from surveillance video inside the church, a man in sandals and shorts can be seen near two white doors.
On Saturday, Dover came to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department to be interviewed by detectives. Afterward, he was charged and taken to jail.
The fires were started between 10 p.m. July 9 and 7 a.m. July 10, investigators said. The church had been locked the night of July 9, Wilkinson said.
A day care worker who came in around 8 a.m. July 10 to start on breakfast noticed the smoke and pulled a fire alarm.
When firefighters arrived, they searched through a haze for the source of the fire and found two areas where they were ignited -- behind the church's sanctuary and in a downstairs area that includes offices.
Investigators haven't said what materials were used to start the fires, but the fire didn't spread far.
"Whatever plan was foiled because apparently it extinguished itself," Al Cadenhead, the senior pastor at Providence Baptist Church, told the Observer at the time of the fire. "We're just very fortunate (the church) didn't burn down. It could have been so much worse."
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