Caught on camera: Man sprays gas, sets fire at pumps, employee jumps into action

BLYN, Wash. — A Sequim man is facing arson, assault and other charges after Clallam County officials say he sprayed gasoline on a van, gas pumps and witnesses and then set a fire.

The whole incident captured on surveillance video shows the actions of a quick-thinking employee, who prevented what deputies said could have been a catastrophic event.

Deputies were called to the Longhouse Market and Deli at 271020 Highway 101 in Blyn around 9:20 a.m. on June 1 after getting a 911 call that someone was drenching cars in gasoline at the gas pumps and threatening to set them on fire.

Dispatchers then told deputies, who were on their way to the scene, that the suspect, later identified as 40-year-old David S. Johnson, had set a van on fire before stealing a truck and fleeing east on Highway 101 toward Jefferson County.

When deputies arrived at the gas station, the fire had been put out by Longhouse employee Daniel Weaver, who quickly activated the emergency shut off fuel switch and then put out the flames with two fire extinguishers.

During the investigation, deputies said they learned Johnson had tried to steal a van that was parked at a gas pump to get fuel. When someone confronted Johnson about the van not being his, Johnson sprayed the witness and van with gas from a fuel pump nozzle and then lit the gas on fire.

Deputies said when the employee saw Johnson spraying the gas, he ran toward the suspect. Once Johnson set the gas on fire, Weaver is seen on video running to shut off the pumps and then quickly returning to put out the fire.

Surveillance video also shows the suspect walking through the flames before fleeing.

Clallam County investigators said during the chaos, Johnson stole a white 2000 Ford F350 that was also parked at a nearby fuel pump.

While searching for the stolen truck, deputies received information that the suspect had hit a Washington State Patrol Commercial Vehicle Enforcement officer who was doing a traffic stop on Highway 101 near Discovery Bay.

The officer was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with serious injuries.

Johnson was booked into the Clallam County Jail the following day. He is charged with first-degree arson, first-degree robbery, second-degree assault, two counts of motor vehicle theft and second-degree malicious mischief.

His bail was set at $1 million.

“The Clallam County Sheriff’s Office would like to recognize Longhouse employee Daniel Weaver whose quick-thinking and heroic actions likely prevented a catastrophic outcome,” the sheriff’s office said in a Facebook post.