Suspect in 2016 Hempstead arson case appears in court

Posted: Updated:
HEMPSTEAD -

A Hempstead man appeared in court Sunday nearly three years after he allegedly started a fire that tore through a home and forced a 12-year-old girl to jump from a second-story window.

In June 2016, police say 35-year-old Christful Fouse had a fight with man over money inside a home on Long Beach Road in Hempstead. Investigators say Fouse lit the man's couch on fire. The blaze quickly engulfed the home, forcing the victim's 12-year-old niece to jump from a window to save her life. The girl suffered an ankle injury and was taken to the hospital.

Police arrested Fouse on Saturday.

Fouse pleaded not guilty at arraignment Sunday to charges of arson, reckless endangerment and assault.

He has a lengthy rap sheet and has failed to appear in court at least seven times.

Bail was set at $195,000. Fouse is due back in court later this week.

Fouse has three orders of protection against him. He also has two open warrants on assault and marijuana charges.

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