|On January 20, 2018 at approximately 11:45 PM, personnel from the Kingsport Police and Fire Departments responded to Model City Apartments, located at 1000 Stonegate Road in Kingsport, in reference to a structure fire. The first responding officer immediately noticed smoke pouring out of the windows and door of apartment F-6. He also observed Bobby W. Hite, Jr. exiting the same apartment.
Mr. Hite was known to the officer from previous encounters. The officer also knew from that same prior interaction that Mr. Hite had been banned by Model City Apartments management. He had apparently continued to take up residence there, despite not being legally allowed on the property. The officer subsequently placed Mr. Hite under arrest for Criminal Trespass.
The fire was eventually extinguished by K.F.D. personnel, but not before it inflicted severe damage to the apartment. Fortunately no injuries were reported. The ensuing investigation into the cause of the fire was cooperatively conducted by arson investigators from the K.P.D. Criminal Investigations Division and K.F.D. Fire Marshal’s Office. They soon learned that just prior to the fire, there had been a verbal domestic disturbance between Mr. Hite and his girlfriend, with his girlfriend reportedly leaving the apartment following the argument.
The investigation quickly honed in on Mr. Hite as the individual responsible for the fire after a witness reported hearing him threaten to “burn this (expletive deleted) to the ground” if his girlfriend left him. Additional statements and evidence collected corroborated their findings. Investigators also learned that although Mr. Hite’s girlfriend had left, the apartment was still occupied by an addition adult female roommate at the time the fire was set.
Therefore, in addition to the aforementioned Criminal Trespass charge, Mr. Hite was also charged with Aggravated Arson. As of the time of this news release, he remained incarcerated in the Kingsport City Jail, awaiting arraignment, in lieu of a $30,250 bond as specified by the presiding magistrate.