Friends of a Wichita woman whose house was attacked on Valentine’s Day said it was a flaming bouquet of roses drenched in lighter fluid that was thrown onto a bed.
Wichita police arrested a man on Feb. 27 on suspicion of 18 counts of arson and 15 other charges.
Delilah Noble and Jeremy McMullen had been dating for four and a half years, said sisters CJ Pilant and Kati Kinyon. They are two of Noble’s friends who were at the house during the Valentine’s Day attack.
It was on Jan. 27, Noble’s 40th birthday, that she left McMullen, Kinyon and Pilant said.
About two weeks later, just after midnight on Valentine’s Day, a man attacked the house in the 1900 block of North Arkansas. Officer Charley Davidson said the man was the ex-boyfriend of one of the people in the house.
Pilant said she was in bed with her husband, Chris Parrish, and their 3-year-old son when a man broke a front window. She said he threw in a bouquet of roses that had been soaked in charcoal lighter fluid and lit on fire.
The flaming flowers landed on a blanket covering Parrish and the boy before it was knocked onto the floor and into the fireplace, Pilant and Kinyon said. It left burn spots on the mattress and floor, they said.
The sisters said that the man said, “Happy Valentine’s Day, (expletive).”
The attacker then ran behind the house, kicked in a door and attempted to force his way into the home, said Kinyon and her husband, Brian. Police said the attacker had a knife, which the Kinyons said was a curved knuckle knife.
People in the house threw cans of Mountain Dew, Diet Pepsi, Dr Pepper and other sodas at the attacker’s face, Parrish, Pilant and Kati Kinyon said. They said several of the cans were taken by police as evidence. One was busted open and had the attacker’s blood on it, they said.
Davidson said there were two injuries in the attack, one to someone’s eye and the other to someone’s hand. Brian Kinyon said the only injury to people inside the house was a piece of glass in someone’s eye.
Police said there were 18 people in the house at the time. Kati Kinyon and Pilant said there were 19 — nine children and 10 adults — in addition to pets. Brian Kinyon said some of the children had nightmares after the attack.
Police reports show officers arrested a man at 5:20 a.m. at a car wash at 21st and Arkansas, about three blocks from the house. Davidson said the man ran when police tried to pull him over after they were called to a disturbance in the area.
The man was driving without his headlights and was a convicted felon illegally in possession of a firearm, booking reports state.
Jail records show Jeremy Thomas McMullen, 38, was booked on suspicion of 18 counts of aggravated arson, four counts of criminal threat, three counts of aggravated assault, one count each of of criminal damage to property, aggravated battery, aggravated burglary, possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of drug paraphernalia, interference with law enforcement, failure to carry a driver’s license and failure to use headlights.
He remains in jail on $100,000 bond.