Suspected arsonist arrested, charged with burning down a Milledgeville home

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MILLEDGEVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – A suspected arsonist has been arrested for torching a Milledgeville home.

Robert Alexander, 43, is charged with aggravated assault, battery, arson and criminal trespassing.

He is accused of burning down 632 Liberty Street home Sunday, according to Milledgeville Police Major Reginald Hill.

The charred home was engulfed in flames when police arrive, said Hill.

Antonio Veal was inside the home at the time of the incident sleeping. Veal told police he was awakened by a noise, and saw Alexander inside his house.

“When Veal confronted (him) about being in his home Alexander brandished a knife while threatening to kill Veal,” added Hill.

The two men fought. Veal was struck in his right eye, and cut across his left palm. Veal almost lost a finger after Alexander allegedly bit it.

“Alexander then struck a match threw it onto the couch, igniting it,” said Major Hill. “While the residence began to fill with smoke and flames, Veal escaped from Alexander. Veal exited the residence through the back door and began screaming for help. A neighbor heard the screams and called 911. Once outside the residence, Alexander followed Veal and continued assaulting him with his fist.”

Afterwards, Alexander ran away, added the police major.

Veal’s mother, Myria Williams, said she was not at home at the time of the alleged attack.

Williams says she has lived in her home for more than 35 years. She said she does not know the suspect. Williams added, she cannot understand why Alexander was in her home or why he would want to set it on fire.

“My whole front yard was in flames and I saw my house on fire and the people stopped me from coming down the road,” said Williams. “They were telling me that somebody had broke into my house and they were fighting my son."

Alexander surrendered to police 30 minutes following the fight with Veal, according to Major Hill. Hill added Alexander threatened to kill Veal, hitting him is his eye and cutting his hand along with biting his finger. Veal was treated for his injuries and released from a Baldwin County hospital.

Anyone with additional information about this incident is urged to call Milledgeville Police Detective Anthony Henderson at (478) 414-4079.