Police: Man afraid of stepdad's pet alligator tried to burn down house

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WEST HOMESTEAD, Pa. - A warrant has been issued for a 21-year-old man accused of setting a fire at his stepfather’s West Homestead house Tuesday.

According to the criminal complaint, a woman called police Tuesday morning and said her son, Anthony Scholl, tried to burn down her husband’s Forest Avenue home. The woman told police Scholl has psychological issues.

The complaint said when officers got to the house, Scholl was sitting outside in a dazed state and admitted he didn’t feel well, and that he thought his stepfather wanted to kill him and feed him to their pet alligator.

Scholl’s stepfather, John Arlett, owns a 10-foot pet alligator named George. Neighbors told Channel 11’s Renee Kaminski that Arlett keeps George inside their home.

“It’s not a good thing. Sometimes animals snap and they come down with 1,000 pounds per square inch bite pressure. That’s a significant bite if you were to get it,” Henry Kacprzyk, a curator at the Pittsburgh Zoo, said.

According to the criminal complaint, Scholl was so afraid of the alligator that he dumped a gas can on the front porch and lit the fire.

“I went to high school with him. He was a good guy and never seemed to get in trouble when I knew him,” Roger Smith said.

Authorities said Scholl is facing arson and several other charges.