Man accused of attempted arson at North Baltimore church - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Man accused of attempted arson at North Baltimore church

Jeremiah Houck Jeremiah Houck
NORTH BALTIMORE, OH (Toledo News Now) -

A man is behind bars after police say he threw a Molotov cocktail into Praise Chapel in North Baltimore.

"I turn around and I'm thinking, ‘What's going on?' And a boy runs over to me and goes, ‘I think someone is trying to burn down your church!'" said Rev. Jonathan Rhinehart.

The reverend didn't hesitate to take action. He told his family and friends to go inside while he called the police. But what he discovered inside the church took him by surprise.

"It was like a tall boy can with a piece of cardboard stuck in it, and you could smell gasoline like crazy," he said.

The North Baltimore Police confirmed the tall can was a Molotov cocktail. They say Jeremiah Houck is accused of breaking into the church and trying to burn it down.

"Fortunately, we had a witness that observed the situation and came forward and provided that information, and we were able to locate the subject," said Police Chief Allen Baer.

The witness was the same person who warned Rev. Rhinehart. He is a minor, and police say he was with Houck during the time of the crime.

Houck is being charged with child endangerment in addition to breaking and entering and arson.

Rhinehart says he is just thankful no one was hurt.

"We've been praying for [Houck]," he said. "I can't go talk to him because it's a part of the case, but I would have loved to ask him why he is so mad at the church."

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