Man arrested after attempting to set stolen vehicle on fire at Northeast State

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KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) — A man faces several charges after reportedly driving a stolen vehicle through the Northeast State gate on West Main Street and attempting to set it on fire.

According to the Kingsport Police Department (KPD), officers responded to reports that a man wearing a blue shirt and camouflage shorts had driven through the gate and set a fire in the car before fleeing the scene on foot.

Officers recognized the vehicle as a car that had been reported missing from a nearby Family Dollar 20 minutes before the incident.

As police continued to investigate, they received reports of a suspicious man on Eastman property near Wilcox Drive and Lincoln Street whose outfit matched the description of the previous suspect’s.

A press release said that later that day, officers found Nathan Bledsoe, 33, at Sullivan and Market Street on Eastman property. Bledsoe reportedly told police that he tried to set the car on fire at Northeast State “to mark the spot.”

When asked why he stole the car, drove it through the school’s gate and tried to start a fire, Bledsoe replied, “I’m training to be like you,” to officers, the report said.

Bledsoe was charged with vandalism over $1,000, theft of a motor vehicle over $2,500 but less than $10,000 and also banned from all Eastman property.

Northeast State is charging Bledsoe for vandalism to the school’s gate and setting the car on fire.

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