NWGA Scanner | July 11th, 2022
On Sunday morning, a Resaca man apparently experiencing some sort of mental health episode set a vehicle on fire near downtown Dalton and also tampered with power and gas facilities on nearby buildings and also broke into a bank building and attempting to set a fire inside. There did not appear to be any motivation to steal money from the bank. 34-year old Wendell Patton, Jr. of Resaca was arrested shortly after the incidents and charged with multiple crimes.
The incidents began at approximately 10:00 am when Patton approached a parked 2019 Toyota Tundra pickup truck on Elk Street and began to push lit matches into the grill. The truck later began to burn, possibly after Patton had left the area, and was a total loss. Patton then went to the Old Freight Depot at South Depot Street and tampered with the power box outside, turning off the power. He then went to the Wells Fargo building nearby and tampered with another breaker box outside and also tried to set a small fire under the outside stairwell with a box of matches. He then walked around the front of the building and threw a heavy ashtray through the glass door and entered the lobby where he attempted to start another fire. There was only minor damage. From there, Patton went to the area of Cherokee Alley and opened two valves on a gas line. At that time, he was stopped and arrested by a Dalton Police Department officer.
Patton was charged with three counts of arson, one count of burglary in the 2nd degree, two counts of criminal damage to property, and three counts of interference with public utilities