Man allegedly sets fires inside west Phoenix mall

Posted: Updated:
Rajee Godwin By Jennifer Thomas Rajee Godwin By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- Phoenix police officers arrested a man after he allegedly started fires inside a West Valley mall, threw rocks at the windows of a movie theater and swung a mallet at employees at a Wal-Mart store.

At approximately 8:45 a.m. Sunday, officers responded to a call of a person throwing rocks at the windows of the movie theater on the south side of Desert Sky Mall near 75th Avenue and Encanto Boulevard, according to Sgt. Tommy Thompson. The damage was minor and the suspect was last seen running south into a field.

Police said the same suspect then started fires inside the mall. The suspect allegedly used a lighter to light a gift card stand on fire inside the guest services department. Thompson said he also kicked in a door to another business and used his lighter to set two kiosks on fire.

The fire damage was relatively minor and interior sprinklers and security put out the fires.

Officers then responded to a nearby Wal-Mart where a person matching the description of the suspect had gone behind the paint counter when he was confronted by management.

The suspect reportedly removed a rubber mallet from a cupboard and allegedly swung it at the manager and another employee then began to knock items over in the store as he made his way to the exit. He then pounded on windows with the mallet but did not break them.

Officers took him into custody as he was leaving the store.

Rajee Godwin, 20, was booked into the Maricopa County Jail and faces aggravated assault, criminal damage and burglary charges.