Man Jailed After Spraying Lighter Fluid on Porch in Winlock

By Natalie Johnson /

A man arrested early Sunday morning after allegedly entering a yard and spraying lighter fluid on a home’s porch was released Monday while prosecutors continue to mull possible charges. 

Steven E. Dodds, whose age and city of residence were not available as of press time, was arrested early Sunday morning. 

According to court documents, police responded at 3:13 a.m. Sunday to an address on Northwest Kerron Avenue in Winlock. 

The alleged victim reported a suspect, later identified as Dodds, entered the property through a locked gate and was trying to get into the residence. The man reportedly took a claw hammer from the suspect. 

Police arrived and found Dodds “soaking wet, shivering, and there was a strong odor of intoxicants about his breath and person,” according to court documents. 

Police found that the alleged victim’s front door handle had been repeatedly hit by an object. The victim reportedly told police Dodds was hitting the door with the claw hammer. 

Dodds reportedly told police he thought he had been pulled over and denied knowing anything about the alleged burglary. 

Dodds was medically cleared by paramedics and booked into the Lewis County Jail. 

The following day, officers returned to the property and were told by the property owner that Dodds sprayed lighter fluid on the porch and planned to set it on fire because he was cold. 

On Monday, Meagher said he wasn’t sure based on the report from officers if the evidence supported a burglary charge and asked that Superior Court Judge Joely O’Rourke to find probable cause to charge Dodds, but to release him on unsecured bail pending a hearing the following day, when prosecutors would make a final decision on charges. 

“I think there’s a lot more to the story (that) Mr. Meagher will look at,” defense attorney Rachael Tiller said. 

O’Rourke granted Meagher’s request and released Dodds, who will be required to return to court this afternoon.