A 37-year-old Prior Lake man was in Scott County Jail this week after police said he attempted to set his apartment on fire and chased people with a handsaw, according to a Scott County Sheriff’s Office criminal complaint.

Thavyxay Tony Panyasiri faces a felony arson charge and misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge following his arrest on Monday, April 24.

Panyasiri’s bail was set at $5,000, and he was ordered to keep the court informed of his address and remain law-abiding as his case progresses. His next court appearance is scheduled for May 12.

Prior Lake Police arrested Panyasiri at the Holiday gas station on Duluth Avenue after receiving a series of calls.

The first was about a smoke hazard at a residence in the 16500 block of Anna Trail at about 10 p.m. Monday night. As officers arrived, they were then dispatched to a second location about a block away after callers reported a man chasing people with a saw.

An officer found Panyasiri at the gas station and observed him “walking toward the middle of the lot with a large handsaw in one hand and a metal object in the other,” according to the complaint.

The officer recognized Panyasiri from previous interactions and knew he lived at the residence in the first call. A search of Panyasiri found a lighter and a metal scraping tool.

Officers returned to the Anna Trail residence and found “two brake drums strewn about the lawn” near the building’s electrical box, which had been opened to expose the box’s wiring.

A neighbor of Panyasiri’s said she called to report the smoke hazard after the man “went nuts and poured oil outside her interior hall door and then set some food on fire on the stove,” according to the complaint.

Police searching the man’s unit found four of the stove’s burners were red-hot, a greasy liquid had been splashed throughout the living room, and several pieces of paper and a dryer sheet were next to the pilot light of a defaced wall heater.


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