Oct 19, 2021 2:57 PM

Man accused of setting two fires in Manhattan's Aggieville

Posted Oct 19, 2021 2:57 PM

CORRECTION: A photo of the wrong person inadvertently was used with this story that was generated by the Post News Network. The Post News Network apologizes for the error.

MANHATTAN— A Manhattan man has been arrested in connection to two arson fires in Aggieville.

Just after 1:30 p.m. Monday, the Manhattan Fire Department was dispatched for what was believed to be an electrical fire in the 1200 block of Moro Street, according to police spokesperson Aaron Wintermote.

Fire investigators indicated the fire appeared to be an arson set with a device commonly known as a Molotov cocktail.

RCPD officers responded to the location and quickly identified 36-year-old Matthew Spooner of Manhattan as the suspect.

While officers were looking for Spooner, the Riley County Communications Center received an additional call around 7:45 p.m. for a fire also set with a Molotov cocktail in the 1100 block of Laramie Street.

Fire crews and police officers responded to the scene where a witness said they had observed Spooner set the fire and leave the area.

RCPD officers, with the assistance of Kansas State University Police, located and detained Spooner in the Aggieville area a short time later. He was transported to RCPD for questioning and later arrested on requested charges of of aggravated arson and two counts of criminal use of explosives. He is currently being held in the Riley County Jail in lieu of bond.

Until about a week ago, Spooner was a research assistant in the Biology Department of Kansas State University. His LinkedIn account lists Biology Division Storeroom Manager as his occupation. Six days ago K-State posted a job opening for Biology Storeroom Manager.