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Woman arrested after pouring gas onto childhood home of MLK Jr.

Good Samaritans caught the woman allegedly pouring gasoline onto the home and attempting to ignite it with a lighter.
Posted at 12:46 PM, Dec 08, 2023

Quick action by some good Samaritans likely saved the childhood home of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

A 26-year-old Atlanta woman was arrested Thursday night after she was caught dousing gasoline onto the historic home. Video shot by a witness showed a woman in all-black holding a gas canister and pouring liquid on the home.  

Two off-duty police officers along with two other tourists witnessed the incident and pleaded with her to stop before apprehending her, the police report states. The woman also allegedly tried to spark a lighter before authorities arrived but she had it taken by the citizens who intervened.

MLK Jr.'s family reflects on his legacy, goals for our nation
Martin Luther King III, center, the son of Martin Luther King Jr., accompanied by his wife Arndrea Waters King

MLK Jr.'s family reflects on his legacy, goals for our nation

In Washington Monday, members of the King Family recalled their father's goals to eradicate the "three evils": poverty, racism, and violence.


"Tonight, an unfortunate incident occurred at the birth home of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as an individual attempted to set fire to this historic property," The King Center said in a statement. "Fortunately, the attempt was unsuccessful, thanks to the brave intervention of good samaritans and the quick response of law enforcement... Our prayers are with the individual who allegedly committed this criminal act." 

The woman, whose name has not been released, was reportedly taken to a hospital for a psychological evaluation and was charged with second-degree attempted arson and interference with government property. The home is recognized as a museum and operated under the National Park Service.