A Marine recruiter has been accused of setting several fires in the Armed Services Recruiting Center, 240 W. Front Ave., on December 26th.

According to The Bismarck Tribune, Anthony DeGroot was charged Wednesday with Class B felony arson and Class A misdemeanor false information to law enforcement.

The Bismarck Tribune provided information from the affidavit, submitted by Bismarck Police Department detective Dean Clarkson:

A man called 911 at 6:59 p.m. Dec. 26 to report seeing smoke at the Armed Services Recruiting Office, 240 W. Front Ave., and seeing a man, later identified as DeGroot, exit the building with duct tape around his face and wrist and lay down on the ground. The man said he had seen lights go out in what was the Marine side of the building before “DeGroot exited the building in a calm manner.

Responding officers took DeGroot to a safer location and cut off the duct tape. DeGroot was not responsive, so officers began CPR until DeGroot became responsive.

DeGroot was taken to St. Alexius with no apparent injuries.

During their investigation, police questioned DeGroot on what exactly happened that night. He said that a man came in asking for information regarding joining the Marines. When DeGroot approached the front door, the suspect struck him and knocked him unconscious. He came to in a room filled with smoke and duct tape across his face. DeGroot said he was able to exit the building and get outside, where he collapsed.

However, when investigating the fire, police found that seven fires were set, including one at DeGroot's desk and one at his locker. They also found the same duct tape used in the attack inside DeGroot's desk. Another employee of the recruiting station stated that they did not have duct tape on the premises.

When investigators presented DeGroot with this information, he decided to remain silent.

Bond has been set at $500.

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