Arizona Man Admitted To Starting Fires In Walmart, Said He Was 'Psychotic'

By Ginny Reese

May 20, 2021

PHOTO: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office

A man from Mesa was arrested after admitting that he started fires in the aisles of a local Walmart store, reported AZ Family.

Joseph Daniel Carter, 52, walked into the Walmart at the corner of Stapley Drive and Baseline road in Mesa on May 18th. While inside, he used a Bic lighter and set some merchandise on fire.

The fire spread quickly, but some employees were able to put the fire out.

The employees then followed Carter around and watched him set fires to other merchandise as well. According to the police report, they were able to put those fires out as well.

Carter was detained in the front of the store by employees and police were called.

During interviews with detectives, Carter said that he was "psychotic" and that he set the fires "for the cause."

Police said that Carter seemed to be under the influence of something during the interview.

Carter has a criminal history, including at least four arson convictions in Arizona and other states, and at least five convictions of reckless burning. He is facing two felony counts of arson of an occupied structure for the Walmart fires.

PHOTO: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office

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