Ex-Dollar Tree Worker Charged With Trying To Burn Down Store, Claims Conspiracy
Hours after distributing flyers claiming that he was being "followed, threatened, watched, set-up, stalked ... and much more from state to state by Dollar Trees, Inc" and police departments around the country, Damon Cooper, 33, purportedly walked into the Dollar Tree branch located in the north Dallas suburb of McKinney on Monday afternoon and used a bottle of lighter fluid to set the store aflame. Nobody was hurt and the fire did not spread to surrounding businesses, news reports say.
The McKinney Police Department arrived on the scene and ordered the man it identified as Cooper to leave the store. He eventually complied after throwing canned goods through a store window, police say, after which Cooper was arrested and charged with arson.
Dollar Tree confirmed to the local CBS TV station, that Cooper was an ex-employee, but didn't say when or how long he had been employed by the chain. Prior to this incident, Cooper reportedly had spent weeks ranting online and distributing flyers about this alleged conspiracy, claiming that attempts had been made on his life.
In his public Facebook page, he also posted an apparent warning of his attack roughly an hour before he arrived at the store:
"This is officially the day to start the Fish Grease so to all my true family and friends until we meet again.... I will be going to my old employers store that I honestly believe they built out here around the corner from me to get me upset but I didn't respond to their continued attacks until now so look out for the information about what happened to the Dollar Tree Store in McKinney ,TX.
"I am being followed, threatened, watched, set-up, stalked, attempted to be committed, imprisoned and much more from state to state by Dollar Trees Inc., N.Y.P.D., Texas P.D., N.C.P.D., Az P.D., Georgia County Superior Court, Wal-Mart, maybe more... They even tried to kill me."
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Dan Fastenberg was most recently a reporter with TIME Magazine. Previously, he was a writer for the Thomson Reuters news service's Latin America desk. He was also a reporter and associate editor for the Buenos Aires Herald while living in South America.
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