Alleged arsonist arrested


Suspected in Douglas Hotel fires

Staff report



Police say Zachary Bidwell admitted setting the Sept. 6 and Nov. 9 arsons at the Douglas Hotel.

Police say Zachary Bidwell admitted setting the Sept. 6 and Nov. 9 arsons at the Douglas Hotel.


Christopher Selmek | Urbana Daily Citizen

Fires were set behind the Douglas Hotel on Sept. 7, Oct. 11 and Nov. 8.


Christopher Selmek | Urbana Daily Citizen

Bidwell


Christopher Selmek | Urbana Daily Citizen

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.

Police say Zachary Bidwell admitted setting the Sept. 6 and Nov. 9 arsons at the Douglas Hotel.
https://www.urbanacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/36/2019/11/web1_DouglasFront.jpgPolice say Zachary Bidwell admitted setting the Sept. 6 and Nov. 9 arsons at the Douglas Hotel. Christopher Selmek | Urbana Daily Citizen

Fires were set behind the Douglas Hotel on Sept. 7, Oct. 11 and Nov. 8.
https://www.urbanacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/36/2019/11/web1_DouglasRear.jpgFires were set behind the Douglas Hotel on Sept. 7, Oct. 11 and Nov. 8. Christopher Selmek | Urbana Daily Citizen

Bidwell
https://www.urbanacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/36/2019/11/web1_Bidwell.jpgBidwell Christopher Selmek | Urbana Daily Citizen
Suspected in Douglas Hotel fires

Staff report