Urbana police arrested Zachary Bidwell, 30, of 124 W. Market St. on Saturday, Nov. 9, following the most recent arson behind the former Douglas Hotel, 111 Miami St.
Following the Nov. 9 fire, police monitoring the area saw Bidwell tampering with surveillance equipment, resulting in a short chase and Bidwell’s arrest, police said.
Bidwell is charged with arson, 4th degree felony; arson, first degree misdemeanor; vandalism, 5th degree felony; tampering with evidence, 3rd degree felony; and two counts of possession of criminal tools, 5th degree felony.
Police Chief Matt Lingrell said more charges may be added after evidence is analyzed by the crime lab, including evidence obtained with a search warrant from Bidwell’s residence.
Lingrell said Bidwell admitted setting the Sept. 6 and Nov. 9 arsons and watching Police and Fire division activity around the hotel. Fires also were set behind the hotel on Sept. 7, Oct. 11 and Nov. 8. All occurred at night. No injuries were reported.
As of Monday, Bidwell was in the Tri-County Jail, Mechanicsburg, awaiting an initial appearance today in Champaign County Municipal Court.
Lingrell said the police division appreciates assistance and information provided by the owner of the former hotel and by other downtown business owners during this continuing investigation.