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Worthington woman arrested for arson, assault

WORTHINGTON -- Bail for a Worthington woman charged with assault, arson and terroristic threats was set at $20,000 Wednesday in Nobles County District Court after her arrest Tuesday night.

Ashley Octavia Dodson, 21, is charged with second-degree assault, two counts of terroristic threats, fourth-degree arson, fourth-degree assault on a peace officer, obstructing the legal process, damage to property and trespassing.

The bond amount is on the condition she does not contact the victim and abstains from drug and alcohol use.

According to the criminal complaint, authorities were called to the 800 block of Clement Street shortly before 5 p.m. Tuesday for a reported dispute over a person who refused to leave a residence.

When the first officer arrived, she heard a female yelling from an upstairs bedroom, where she found Dodson.

The victim told the officer he had asked Dodson to leave his apartment, but she would not.

According to the officer's report, Dodson was screaming so loudly at times it was impossible to understand what she was saying, and she often made statements that didn't make sense.

The victim said he had allowed Dodson to stay at his place for a few days because she had nowhere to live, but she wasn't looking for a job so he asked her to leave. She went to the kitchen and returned with two large butcher knives, stating that if he touched her, she would kill him.

She allegedly began throwing items around the room and destroying objects, pointing the knives at the victim.

He said he was afraid she would hurt him, so he called the police.

Dodson then said she was going to burn the place down.

She allegedly took a handful of tissues and started them on fire with a lighter, throwing them on the floor.

While the victim was putting out the flames, she lit more tissues, then tried to ignite part of the tissue box. Some friends who arrived were able to get the knives away from Dodson.

A witness corroborated the victim's statement.

When the officers arrived and arrested Dodson, she became irate when handcuffed and started screaming and fighting.

She reportedly dropped to her knees, refusing commands to stand.

Eventually the officers had to resort to dragging her from the room, and even then she continued to fight, hooking her foot around a bed frame and knocking items over.

She refused to walk down the stairs, and when the officers carried her down, she fought so much she knocked one of the officers partially down the staircase.

She repeatedly threatened the officers as they attempted to get her in a squad car, trying to grab an officer's taser and kicking at them.

Once inside the squad, she banged her head against the partition and kicked the side window.

Because the camera in one squad was not working, the officers transferred her to another.

Her behavior prompted them to fit her with a spit hood, and she screamed obscenities the whole time.

After transferring Dodson into the custody of the Nobles County Jail, an officer returned to the apartment and obtained the burnt tissues and two 8.5 inch knives as evidence.

Dodson was still in jail as of Thursday afternoon. Her next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 31 at the Prairie Justice Center.

Readers may reach Daily Globe reporter Justine Wettschreck at