GASTON COUNTY, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - A mobile home is now boarded up after police say a man set it on fire after having a fight with his wife. The man also attempted to set himself on fire after leading police on a chase, according to reports.
Christopher Watkins set fire to trailer following a domestic dispute with his wife. Watkins is charged with is charged with fraudulent burning of a dwelling home, burning personal property, and felony flee to elude.
"I knew the guy was crazy but I never did think he would go that far. I knew they was arguing and they was into it pretty bad up here and by the time we got up here he had thrown gasoline into the door and threw a match on it, got in the car, and spun off,” said a neighbor who witnessed the incident.
Hours later police spotted Watkins who took them on a chase. He stopped on Bessemer City Rd. and Ross St. where he set the car on fire. He was arrested before he was able to set himself on fire.
"Everything I've done I've done for reason," Watkins said.
"My understanding is that he communicated to DSS this morning and indicated to them that when he gets out of custody he plans to go and kill his wife and children. So, we certainly have fears for safety of not only for Mrs. Watkins and her children but society as well and truthfully for Mr. Watkins himself.”
Watkins' wife was sitting in the court room crying. His father was also watching as he told the judge why he did it.
"She broke my heart boss. When she took my kids to that stop sign, when she took my kids I lost my world. I would never ever kill her or my kids. I burnt my house down but that's just material things," said Watkins.
Neighbors witnessed the fire and say Watkins is a threat.
"That was just shear craziness. I don't think he'll make bond, he'll just be a threat to everyone else if they let him out,” the neighbor said.
The judge ordered Watkins to have no contact with his family, and set his bond at $500,000.