Punta Gorda Police have arrested and charged a resident of the town for allegedly going on a sort of serial spate of arson. He allegedly set fire to property belonging to 4 different town residents. That accused arsonist is 22 year-old Kareem Chun, and he has been charged with 3 counts of arson.
On January 10, at around 1:25 p.m., police responded to a report of a vehicle on fire on Cayetano Street. There they found fire fighters putting out a blaze engulfing the engine area of a 2005 Chevy Colorado pick-up truck. The owner, 39 year-old Merida Chan told police that she and her boyfriend made sure to check on their vehicle before going to bed, and some 3 hours later, they found it on fire.
Just over an hour later, police had to respond to another fire at a house on Vernon Street. The home owner, 63 year-old Victor Caliz, told police that his family were awoken when they heard someone walking in their yard. A few minutes later, they found their bamboo chair, which was on the front verandah, engulfed in flames. Luckily, it was gotten under control before it could spread to the house and create a far worse situation.
45 minutes after that, police officers had to respond to yet another fire at the corner of Vernon and Front Streets in PG. 60 year-old businessman Ignatius Longville, told police that he found the roof of his restaurant and bar named “Gomier’s Place”, on fire, and that’s when he called the Fire Department. Once again, the rapid response of the firefighters averted a major blaze which could have spread to the rest of the structure, and burn it down.
Less than half an hour later, while police were still taking reports for that 3rd fire, they found a 2012 Isuzu DMAX pickup completely engulfed in fire, and though the firefighters tried their best to get the blaze under control, this vehicle was completely damaged. The owner, 54 year-old Elizabeth Kearns, told police that before she went to bed, she made sure that the vehicle was secured, but was awoken by the sounds of the car’s alarm, and the dogs barking. When she looked out, that’s when she found her truck on fire.
Shortly after all of these fires happened, police detained 22 year-old Kareem Chun, who reportedly admitted to police that he started 3 of these fires. He allegedly told police that he had been drinking alcohol, and due to some frustrations he was having, he became angry, and began lighting random things on fire. He’s since been charged with 3 counts of arson.