The Madison Police Department arrested a taxi driver on charges of arson early Thursday morning.
Adil Koummal of Bridgeport was charged with first-degree arson, second-degree criminal mischief and operation of a motor vehicle while registration is suspended.
He faced a judge in New Haven court on Thursday.
Koummal is accused of attempting to set fire to an occupied residence with a basement apartment on Mungertown Road in Madison.
When police pulled up to the home to arrest him, they said he had a lighter and a gas tank. They said he was trying to light the grass on fire.
Police said they first received a call from someone driving by who spotted the flames.
They said one officer tried to put it out, but Koummal walked into the fire. After the officer pulled him out, he asked the suspect if he started it.
Court documents said Koummal replied "I did start the fire, but they told me to."
When the officer asked him for more information, Koummal said "The spirits and demons. They control me and told me I had to burn the house down."
"Anything in the police report is all alleged," his attorney told Eyewitness News.
Koummal told police that he lived in the home several years ago.
Police said it does not appear that he knew the current resident.
Eyewitness News tried to speak with the homeowner and neighbors, but no one knew Koummal or much about the incident.
Police said Koummal did not have any prior arrests in his background. He was on medical watch Thursday night.
He was also being held on $100,000 bail.
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