Suspect in court following arrest in 8 Indianapolis arsons over 5 years

David Bradshaw (IMPD photo)
Arson arrest
Accused arsonist in court

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — A suspected serial arsonist, David Bradshaw, was quiet during his time in court on July 23.

He is facing several counts of arson dating back almost five years to 2014.

Investigators arrested 40-year-old Bradshaw on three counts of arson and three counts of criminal recklessness for allegedly setting fires on porches of several homes. Bradshaw is reportedly homeless. He was taken into custody in Evansville after an investigation by IMPD and IFD arson detectives and the U.S. Marshals Service.

Since then he has reportedly told cell mates at the Marion County Jail that he rode his bicycle all the way to Kentucky to elude authorities.

Court documents show during questioning Bradshaw told detectives he's relieved about being caught and admitted to setting fires. He went on to tell detectives he only sets the fires when he gets drunk. Bradshaw reportedly also told detectives he has several warrants out of Oregon for arson.

The most recent round fo fires happened in the middle of the night on July 2 on Indy's north side.

People living in the Old North Side neighborhood shared at least two photos of a man believed to be the suspected arsonist. In one photo, he was caught on camera on the victim's front porch in the middle of the night on July 2. The second photo shows what appears to be the same man, riding a bicycle and carrying a backpack.

In some of the fires, flames forced the families out of their homes. No one was injured in the suspicious fires, which caused thousands of dollars in damages.

Some of the victims attended Bradshaw’s initial hearing just to see his face.

The fires for which Bradshaw was arrested include two on North Drexel Avenue on Sept. 17, 2014 and one on North Riley Avenue the following day. Police said he also set two fires on Christmas Day 2018 on Alabama and New Jersey streets, plus three fires set this month.

During his appearance before Marion County Supreme Court Judge Mark Stoner Tuesday afternoon prosecutors were successful earning another 72 hours to finalize charges against Bradshaw. Following the hearing he used court papers to cover his face on his way back to jail.

He is expected back in court on Friday.

Some of Bradshaw’s victims including the family from the fire plan to follow his case all the way through hoping to make sure he is held accountable.

The 40-year-old man is being held without bond according to online jail records. When Bradshaw returns to court Judge Stoner will likely enter a preliminary not guilty plea on his behalf, appoint him a public defender, set pretrial and trial dates and then order him back to the Marion County Jail.

No word yet if Bradshaw will be granted an affordable bond. Several of his victims told Eyewitness News they fear if he is allowed out of jail until trial that he will probably set more fires.

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