A Utah man is avoided at least for now dozens of attempted murder charges but is in jail on a $50,000 bond after trying but failing to burn down the Nugget Casino in Wendover Monday night.
Russell Bond a 56 year old truck driver from Hennifer, Utah turned himself into West Wendover Police after returning home and confessing to his family that had tried to destroy the casino.
Upon entering Bonds’ hotel room emergency personel found unignited containers of gasoline as well as sever fire and smoke damaged property.
According to witness there was a loud bang coming from Bond’s hotel room. Shortly later a man fitting Bond’s description was seen running from his room as the Nugget’s automatic fire fighting system came on. While over 50 rooms sustained moderate to heavy water damage the fact that the fire was extinguished in the room despite the presence of gasoline filled bottles is a tribute to modern hotel design. The Nugget had recently undergone remodeling and police speculate that a similar attempt at arson even five years ago could have had much more tragic results.
At least in the initial charging Bond was lucky. It is often the case that crimes of arson that attempted murder counts are added to the arson charge.
Once inside the room emergency personnel observed fire and smoke damage to the furniture, as well as locating gasoline containers. The state fire marshal’s office sent an arson investigator to assist in documenting and investigating this incident.
In the meantime officers learned that the room was registered to a Russell Bond from Hennifer Utah. And with the man’s identity also came the possible motive for the attempted arson. Nugget security personnel recognized the name as a subject that they previously had removed from the property. According to police shortly after being 86’d Bond obtained three one gallon containers of gasoline. One of which he apparently emptied and ignited in the room. The other too failed to ignite thanks to the sprinkler system.
At about the same time A family member of Bond had contacted the police department in reference to this investigation after becoming suspicious when Bond made statements to them in the early hours following this incident. Bond agreed to return to West Wendover to speak with investigators.
Fire and smoke damage was contained to the one hotel room; however water from the fire suppression system caused damage to at least 56 other rooms. A dollar amount of damage has not been received as of this time.