Man Arrested for Arson; He Allegedly Attempted to Set Home on Fire After Barricading Residents Inside

This is a press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office. The information has not been proven in a court of law and any individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:

Michael Jay MerrimanOn June 23, 2018, at about 9:50 p.m., Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a residence in the area of Orchard Way and Boy Scout Camp Road in Myers Flat for the report of a male subject intentionally setting a residence on fire while occupants were inside.

When deputies arrived on scene, they found burned objects still smoldering outside of the residence. Deputies learned that 66-year-old Michael Jay Merriman was known to the occupants and had approached them that night inviting them to join him at his residence nearby. When the occupants declined the invitation, Merriman reportedly became angry and began threatening them. Merriman then reportedly barricaded the door to the residence, trapping the occupants inside, and attempted to light the residence on fire. The occupants were able to escape and suppress the fire using a garden hose.

Personnel with the Myers Flat Volunteer Fire Department and Cal Fire arrived on scene to ensure the fire was extinguished and the residence was safe.

Merriman was later located at a nearby residence and taken into custody without incident. Merriman was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on charges of arson of an inhabited structure, false imprisonment and threats to commit a crime.

Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at (707) 268-2539.



  • Myers flat is where its (meth) at!

    • unbridled philistine

      IDK? He still looks drunk to me!

    • Spot on meth, and heroine are ruining these northern Cali communities.

      • *Watch Out For The Addicts Web*

        Yes, this is a very terrible situation for all of us. It’s bad enough for the people that are using the drugs and alcohol everyday, but the cost of the collateral damage they inflict to their family, neighbors, and the general public is staggering!

        I was hit head on by a drunk driver years ago and was lucky to survive. I never made it all the way back physically or monetarily. I was recently overcome by meth lab chemical fumes and passed out and had a fall. I’m trying to work my way back from a concussion, brain bleed, and whiplash. Life can become challenging for people that get caught up in the addicts web.

        These two events both could have cost me my life. It has cost thousands of dollar to recover and it isn’t over yet! Sorry, I have very little empathy left for the addicts!

        I’m trying to stay positive and accept that there was something else I’m suppose to do on the planet, before I check out! If I could only think of what that might be. I feel very sorry for people that have lost there short term memory. I hope I get mine back. Did I already have lunch? Did I pay that bill?

  • This guy seems to a candidate for a LONG stay in the Rubber Room!!! 5150 at best!!!! One wonders why Attempted Murder isn’t among the charges against him???!!!

  • Maybe next time accept the dinner invite ?

  • “charges of arson of an inhabited structure, false imprisonment and threats to commit a crime.”

    Seems to me that it should be more like attempted murder.

  • mental disorder much??

  • That’s what happens to your brain when you don’t sleep for a year

  • Best mugshot mustache I can recall.

  • I notice it’s a lot more of these decrepit Baby Boomers who’re committing a lot of these idiocies. I’m one (a decrepit Baby Boomer, that is), so I can say that.

  • Dirty Off grid sohum livin

    Some folks burn and some folks bury. Fire is a great way to get rid of trash real quick!

  • Pretty sure that multiple attempted homicide charges.

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