Homeless man charged with four counts of arson, bail set at $250K

James Goad allegedly set multiple fires in Renton, Tukwila and unincorporated King County.

A man suspected of starting multiple fires in Renton, Tukwila and around unincorporated King County was charged with four counts of second-degree arson on Sept. 8.

A bail was set for $250,000 for 40-year-old James Goad, who reportedly set fires that caused an estimated total damage of $500,000, according to charging documents.

Goad was booked into King County jail on Sept. 6. He is believed to be homeless.

Court documents report the bail was initially set at $25,000 during Goad’s first appearance, but once more evidence was gathered regarding the number of fires he allegedly started, the state requested the bail to be set at $250,000.

Goad is accused of setting fire to two semitractors on Aug. 28 at Beacon Coal Mine Road. Investigators found the fire was initially set in the sleeper of a semi with the fire extending to another semi next to it. Both vehicles were reported to have extensive damage. All combustible materials in both vehicles were consumed. The fire also damaged the rear of a cargo box in front of the sleeper semi. The owner of the property said they had been having problems with homeless people coming onto the property and getting into the parked vehicles.

Another fire was set at the same property on Sept. 5. A witness reported seeing Goad setting the seat of a track hoe (backhoe used for a railroad) on fire. When Goad tried to set a cab on fire, he was interrupted by the witness. The witness reported Goad threatened him with steel ball bearing that he later dropped on the road. Goad reportedly told the witness, “You can’t stop me and I will do it again.”

King County Sheriff’s Office set up a K9 unit to track Goad, but the unit was unable to locate him. He was believed to have escaped southbound along Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad track line that ran parallel to Beacon Coal Mine Toad.

Investigators found a large manual was set on fire that had been on the floor board of the Peterbilt semi, and that someone had attempted to light the seat of the track hoe parked 40 feet away from the semi. Shoe prints leading from the semi to the track hoe were also found on the scene.

BNSF Railroad Police, who were also investigating the arson, informed investigators an air card, along with a Dell laptop, was taken from one of the burned vehicles, and that they were able to track it to the woods along Beacon Coal Mine Road.

Investigators found Goad under a brown tarp in the wooded area. He was placed under arrest. Investigators found shoes with a tread pattern identical to the one found in the previous scene. They also found multiple BNSF safety jacket, BNSF pens, and a pair of BNFS boots. All the items were taken from the burned BNSF truck.

Tukwila Fire Department was investigating two arsons that occurred on Aug. 28 and Sept. 4. One of the arsons involved a BNSF railroad boom truck that was parked on a rail siding and had an estimated loss of $250,000. The other one involved a semitractor and a building, with estimated loss of $75,000

Goad is also the prime suspect of two fires started in Renton, including a pickup in the Republic Recycling that was set on fire and a fire set inside a building.

He has been previously charged with violation of the uniform controlled substance act and criminal mischief in Arkansas, as well as riding outside of train and resisting arrest in Illinois.

His arraignment is set for Sept. 21 at Kent’s Regional Justice Center.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@rentonreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.rentonreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Governor Jay Inslee smiles and laughs Sept. 3, 2019, during a speech at the Lynnwood Link Extension groundbreaking in Lynnwood. A Thurston County judge ruled he exceeded his authority when he vetoed single sentences in the state transportation budget in 2019. (Olivia Vanni / Herald file)
Judge invalidates Gov. Inslee’s veto in roads budget

Lawmakers said the governor crossed a constitutional line.

Photo from the scene of a drive-by shooting at Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park. Photo by David Nelson.
Drive-by shooting at Coulon Park Tuesday interrupted memorial

Two were shot, one with life threatening injuries. Renton Police Department is investigating.

Sound Transit gets $100 million federal grant for Federal Way light rail extension

Portion of $790 million payment toward $3.1 billion project

King County cases among younger adults drives increase in COVID-19 numbers

Over half of all new cases are among people ages 20-39

Public and private universities, colleges, technical schools, apprenticeship programs and similar schools and programs may resume general instruction, including in-person classes and lectures, starting Aug. 1. Pictured: The University of Washington-Bothell campus. File photo
Universities and colleges may reopen in fall, governor says

His order requires masks and physical distancing, among other measures, to help prevent infections.

A photo of the victim in a shooting at Cedar River, 24-year-old Nicholas Germer. Courtesy Photo/GoFundMe
Kent man killed in shooting at Cedar River, suspect arrested

34-year-old suspect is being held on bail for $1 million

Gavel (Courtesy photo)
Renton collection agency sued over collection letters for unenforceable debts

Convergent Outsourcing sent over 75,000 deceptive letters asking for settlements on debts that were already past the statute of limitations for collection lawsuits

Traffic was down the street to receive COVID-19 testing at the Renton drive-thru site. Courtesy photo/King County
Free COVID-19 testing sites in Federal Way, Renton see large turnout

The King County testing sites were provided in part by Beyoncé’s BeyGood Initiative

Most Read