Man Facing Child Endangerment After Fire

WAUKON, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- A Grundy Center man is facing multiple charges after police said he threatened to burn a house down and displayed a weapon at a home in Waukon.

According to court documents, 48-year-old James Laughlin is facing four counts of child endangerment and three counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Police said around 10:20 p.m. Saturday officers responded to a call about a gun at 503 Second Avenue SW in Waukon. They found two male juveniles with the gun nearby. Officers determined several juveniles at the residence were sitting or standing around a contained fire in the front yard of the home. They said Laughlin's son asked Laughlin's wife's son if he could use his bicycle, and was told no. Laughlin became upset and threw an LP (liquid petroleum) gas cylinder onto the fire.

Witnesses said Laughlin made a comment about burning the house down, then got a gas can from his pickup truck and returned to the fire. Investigators said it did not appear gas was poured onto the fire, but the fire was out by the time officers arrived.

Witnesses told officers Laughlin then went into the house and got a muzzleloader, which he pointed to his chin. Laughlin told investigators he was checking the muzzleloader for rust because he had concerns about rust after using the gun last deer season. Investigators also found a .22 long rifle and a shotgun under the bed. Laughlin said he knew the guns were there.

Officers arrested Laughlin, who consented to a breath sample, which indicated a blood alcohol content of .184, and officers took Laughlin to the Allamakee County Jail.

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