John Petzold

This past weekend, a dispute over a discount at a local hotel ended in an arrest for arson.

According to Taylor police reports, John Petzold, 44, of Taylor, was arrested Saturday, Aug. 25, after he set an attic on fire a the Taylor Village Inn in the 1900 block of N. Main St.

At 7:30 p.m. officers responded to a report of a fire in the attic of the hotel, which was extinguished before officers arrived. An investigation by the Taylor Fire Department revealed the fire was caused by bedding materials that had been set on fire and placed in the attic crawl space.

Officers spoke with employees and reviewed security camera footage that showed Petzold on the walkway of the second floor with the bedding materials in hand. He was walking toward the crawl space entrance.

The video also showed a spark that leads to a flame, followed by the flaming object thrown into the attic space. The footage then showed Petzold leave the area with nothing in his hands according to police reports.

Taylor Police Commander Joseph Branson said the incident started when Petzold became upset because he asked for a discount and it was denied.

"It started with a disagreement with employees," Branson said.

The employee told police that there was a fire in a dumpster at the hotel a few hours earlier. Petzold informed the employee about the fire, and helped put it out.

"They didn't call anyone on that fire because it was extinguished without incident," Branson said.

There were no injuries reported from the fire.

Petzold was arrested and charged with arson, a first-degree felony. Petzold is still in custody at the Williamson County Jail on a $100,000 bond.

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