Skip to main content

Davis Journal

Suspect identified in Centerville home invasion and arson case

Aug 02, 2022 01:34PM ● By Becky Ginos

CENTERVILLE—Police have identified the man who is suspected of burning a Centerville home down and assaulting the homeowners last week.

Ammon Jacob Woodhead, 37, of Salt Lake City was arrested July 21 after he allegedly went into a home at 329 E. 1825 North in Centerville and threatened the three elderly adults living there that he was going to burn the house down with them in it. He poured gas around the house and then set it on fire. 

“We started getting reports from neighbors but we had limited information because we kept losing contact with the person on the call,” said Centerville Police Chief Paul Child. “The initial call came in about 2:41 that there was an arson in progress. Pretty much everyone was going up there and while we were en route we could see large amounts of smoke.”

Dispatch advised us that a male had started the house on fire with gas, was armed with a knife and barricaded in the home, he said. “Our number one concern is life and safety. We had to stabilize the aggressor so the firefighters could fight the fire and not be threatened by someone with a knife and get the victims out and away from the fire.”

Child said officers saw a man in the garage area where smoke was billowing. “They gave commands but he was acting aggressive and non compliant so they ended up tasering him. He dropped down and rolled then went back in. The officers went in and pulled him out but he put up a significant fight. They finally got him in handcuffs and carried him away from the fire.” One officer was bit by the suspect.

It was a chaotic scene right from the start, he said. “The fire was fully involved. You could hear popping and exploding sounds – it was pretty dangerous. Six officers were treated for smoke inhalation.” 

“We didn’t exactly know what the situation was,” said South Davis Metro Deputy Fire Chief Dave Powers. “We had to rely on the officers. When crews arrived the fire was very involved. They had to take a defensive attack because the home was well involved so we couldn’t go inside.”

Powers said they were using two separate hydrants, engines and an aerial truck. “We were using multiple things to protect the homes east and west. The occupants were evacuated.”

There was minor damage to those homes, he said. “The home to the west had some curling of vinyl siding, I’m not sure if there was interior smoke damage. The one to the east some bushes were burnt.”

The home was a complete loss, said Powers. “There was a high end RV parked there and it burnt as well. Damages are over $1 million.”

The fire had the capacity to reach the foothills as well, he said. “It was traveling east and if we hadn’t put it out it could have gone up the hillside.”

Two of the victims and Woodhead were taken to area hospitals for injuries from the incident. Both victims have since been released and are recovering.

Woodhead is suspected of committing a residential burglary and two vehicle burglaries in a different area of Centerville before the home invasion/arson, police said. Investigators have found no connection between Woodhead and the victims prior to July 21.

Woodhead spent five days in the hospital under guard by Utah Adult Probation & Parole. He was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on a Board of Pardons warrant on July 26. The Davis County Attorney’s Office is screening charges against Woodhead and are anticipated to include: Attempted Aggravated Murder; Aggravated Arson; Aggravated Assault; Aggravated Robbery; Residential Burglary; Vehicle Burglary; Assault on a Police Officer and Possession of a Controlled Substance. λ