Complaint: Man accused of arson to Madison pallet home also threatened officers

A fire destroyed a pallet home at Madison's homeless encampment on Dairy Drive
A fire destroyed a pallet home at Madison's homeless encampment on Dairy Drive(Carl Tummett)
Published: Apr. 7, 2022 at 5:10 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The man who allegedly set fire to his pallet home at Madison’s homeless encampment also threatened to kill Madison Police Department officers and their families, a criminal complaint released Thursday alleges.

Jeffrey Jalinski, 37, is accused of arson of a building and two counts of making threats to a law enforcement officer.

A Madison Police Department officer responded around 1:15 p.m. on March 29 to the 3200 block of Dairy Drive for a reported arson and met with an employees of the encampment who were also witnesses to the fire.

The two employees told the officer they had spoken to Jalinski about some of his recent behaviors at the camp and that they issued a seven-day ban to him. The complaint alleges that Jalinksi reacted negatively to the ban, shouted at the employees, refused to take the paperwork and then returned to his home.

The complaint continues, saying employees saw Jalinksi throw items out of his home and eventually leave carrying some of his personal items. He was then seen walking out the main gate of the park. Staff estimate it took about five minutes from when they told Jalinksi of the ban to when he left, according to the complaint.

The employee said about a minute after Jalinski left, she heard someone yell that there was a fire. Video footage from the camp showed the tiny-home with large clouds of black smoke and visible flames.

An officer reached out to Eclipse Tiny and Accessories, a business with security cameras that face directly toward the encampment, because an employee said they had surveillance footage of the alleged arson.

The complaint states that the video allegedly showed Jalinski picking up wood from outside of the home and putting it inside. He then left the tiny home and walked away. The home became fully engulfed in fire just minutes later.

Around 4:50 p.m., Jalinski met with officers in the lobby of the Public Safety Building. Police stated that Jalinski was speaking quickly and making “random, difficult to follow conversation,” the complaint notes.

Jalinski told the two officers he was going to file a complaint against them and asked them for their names. One officer handed the man a business card and the other wrote his information on the back of it. The officers say Jalinski’s demeanor changed rapidly and he said he would “fight police,” according to the complaint.

As things escalated, officers asked the man to put his hands on top of his head, which he eventually complied with.

The complaint notes the man then allegedly threatened the officers, saying he was going to kill them and their children. Both officers stated they found the threats to be legitimate.

“I’m going to kill you and your children,” the complaint quotes Jalinski as saying to one of the officers. “Believe me. I now have your name and will look you up, find out where you live and kill you. You’re going to be first.”

Jalinski appeared in court Wednesday for his initial appearance and a judge set his bail at $2,000. Jalinski is not allowed to have any contact with the two officers who took him into custody. He is scheduled to appear on April 19 for a preliminary hearing, according to court records.

Copyright 2022 WMTV. All rights reserved.