Former San Diego Charger defensive back Kevin Ellison was arrested early Thursday morning on a federal arson charge after setting his apartment on fire. Ellison, now with the Spokane Shock arena football team, was taken into custody after first telling police that the fire was the result of him smoking in his bed. But after being confronting with the police’s evidence that said otherwise, Ellison confessed and gave an explanation that police were not expecting.
Ellison was at the hospital when he told Spokane Valley Deputy Fire Marshal Clifton Mehaffey that he’d set the fire with a cigar “because ‘God’ had told him to set the bed on fire.” Mehaffey said Ellison stopped talking to him after he called a family member and was advised to get a lawyer.
Later Thursday, a federal agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives contacted Shock general manager Ryan Rigmaiden, who said Ellison told him he started the fire with marijuana blunt at the advice of God, according to court documents.
The agent then contacted Ellison, who declined to answer questions about the fire but said “that he just wanted to get out of it and for it all to go away,” according to documents filed in U.S. District Court.