Samuel Lee Bassett
NBC Chicago Screenshot

Around 2 p.m. last Friday, Samuel Lee Bassett arrived at his Chicago home to find the place on fire. Police and firefighters were already outside battling the blaze, which had grown intense. Bassett was reportedly told to get back, but the 48-year-old wanted to save his dog. In an attempt to get into his home, Bassett began pushing and fighting with officers, according to police records viewed by NBC Chicago.

The fire would send three firefighters to the hospital, Bassett's dog died in the blaze and Bassett was arrested and charged "with two felony counts of aggravated battery to a peace officer and two misdemeanor counts of resisting a peace officer."

"They kept trying to keep him out of the building 'cause it was unsafe for him to go in," Deputy Fire Commissioner Mark Nielsen told the Chicago Tribune. "He wanted to go in."

Bassett, an Air Force veteran who works as a lighting designer, was held on $300,000 bond and was told by the bond judge, "You should have more respect for police officers," according to the Tribune.

A spokesman for the Fire Department told the Tribune that foul play is not suspected as the cause of the blaze. Bassett, who has no criminal record, is due back in court this Friday, according to the Tribune. 


Read more at NBC Chicago and the Chicago Tribune.