Man Accused of Attacking Girlfriend With Hammer, Then Setting House on Fire in Police Stand-off
(Memphis) A man is facing charges for attacking his girlfriend and setting his house on fire while police tried to speak with him about the brutal beating.
Memphis Police officers, firefighters, even Memphis Animal services all stood by Saturday morning as the man barricaded himself in the house. You could barely see down Semmes Street.
“Smoke just everywhere, all up in there, it’s all back in here,” said neighbor Trent Harrison.
In the smoke and windy conditions, police spent much of the morning trying to get Dino Martin, who was barricading himself inside his home, out.
“The suspect refused to come out,” said MPD Lt. Col. Loris Hopkins.
The chaos started way before police and fire trucks blocked off the road. Police say hours before, Martin attacked his live-in girlfriend inside their home. She was beaten so badly, she was rushed to the hospital in critical condition
“They say he beat her with a hammer,” said Harrison.
Police later went back to the house to try to get the suspect’s side of the story.
“He made threats to do bodily harm to himself and the officers,” said Hopkins.
Then he set the house on fire. Police didn’t know if Martin was armed, so it was too dangerous to send firefighters in to put out the flames.
There’s an even stranger twist to the story, billowing smoke wasn’t the only thing skirting out of the windows. Out of nowhere, several cats started darting out the house and into the yard.
“I don’t know if he pulled them out, or if the cats left on their own,” said Hopkins.
Eventually Martin did come outside. EMT crews carried him on a gurney and into an ambulance. Police say they didn’t hurt him.
“He’s possibly inured by himself because the fire was inside the house,” said Hopkins.
Neighbors who couldn’t get to their homes at first, stood around stunned Saturday.
“He seems pretty cool. I don’t know what got him to do that there,” said neighbor Charles Turner.
Police aren’t sure either what sparked this spiraling reaction, but they do know Martin faces a list of charges. Martin faces attempted murder, and aggravated arson charges. His girlfriend is out of the hospital. We’re told at the time of the attack, the couple’s 8-year-old son was also in the house.