Baldwin man charged with arson

Thomas Schaffner

A Baldwin man was charged in St. Croix County Circuit Court last week with arson along with multiple misdemeanors. 

Thomas Jon Schaffner, 38, 1490 8th Ave., is also looking at criminal damage to property, bail jumping, resisting an officer, disorderly conduct and operating motor vehicle while revoked. 

The arson charge brings a penalty of $100,000 and/or 40 years prison. 

According to the criminal complaint: 

Baldwin Police were called to the above residence for a structure fire around 5:10 p.m., Aug. 27. 

A victim reported she came to the house to pick up a vehicle. Upon entering the house, she was met by the sight and smell of smoke, which prompted the call to police/fire department. Police found spots where it looked like the fire had been started, but none of them appeared to be actively burning. 

The victim told police Schaffner was allowed to stay in the house until he was evicted, but he wasn’t allowed permission to start fires or destroy property. While checking for the fires, police noticed broken glass, food, feces, urine, spoiled food and garbage covering the floor. 

“All of the remaining possessions in the house were on the floor and mostly destroyed,” the complaint states. 

Schaffner then pulled up to the house. He was revoked for alcohol related offenses and wasn’t supposed to be driving. He told police he started the fires intentionally because he has scabies and the fire draws out the scabies. He added he has gone to Western Wisconsin Health nine times to get help and they always send him away with nothing. 

As police were starting to read him rights, Schaffner exploded with rage and screamed at them. Tasers were eventually pointed and used as he walked through a small shed into the backyard. 

He was then transported to Western Wisconsin Health where he berated all three of his nurses. He was also boisterous and profane. He further demanded a scabies test over and over, even though he had already been informed there is no such test. 

Baldwin Police were en route to the hospital, therefore they asked for assistance from Hammond and Woodville police to watch the house. Baldwin Police went back to the house where they photographed the areas where no less than five fires had been started along with the drug paraphernalia that was in plain sight. 

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