Man accused of beating girlfriend, setting fire to home

A man beat his girlfriend with a baseball bat, then came back and set fire to her house while 10 people were inside, Baltimore police said — an attack that injured three.

Arson investigators charged Jordan Grimes, 26, with about 50 criminal counts, including attempted murder and arson, saying he was responsible for a series of violent crimes Monday in Northwest Baltimore.

Police said it was a "horrific" episode from a man who has previously been accused of domestic violence.

Earlier this year, Baltimore Circuit Court records show, a girlfriend said he punched her in the face, texted her a picture of himself holding a gun and posted a video of them having sex on Facebook when she refused to stay with him. He was convicted of failure to comply with a court order barring him from any contact with the victim.

Police said the violence Monday began before 2:45 p.m., when officers responded to a reported assault at a Lucille Park rowhouse in the 2800 block of Ridgewood Ave. A 40-year-old woman told them Grimes had hit her with a baseball bat and then fled, police said. Paramedics took her to a hospital for treatment.

About 4:30 p.m., police and firefighters were called back to the house. Officers saw the first-floor — where his girlfriend lived — engulfed in flames, and heavy smoke coming from the second floor. A man and woman in their 60s and a younger woman were standing on a second-floor ledge.

One of the woman's faces was burned, and another's hair and back, a police report said. Four people on the ground held a bedsheet, and — one at a time — the three jumped, then were taken to a hospital.

Seven people had been in the downstairs apartment, including three children 3 or younger, police said. They escaped from the back of the house.

Witnesses told police a man fitting Grimes' description set the house on fire and fled with a bucket. Police said the suspect poured a flammable liquid in the vestibule and set it ablaze.

Officers combed the area and spotted Grimes. Patrol officer R.J. Tonks chased him for at least four blocks before arresting him, police said.

The three victims who jumped from the second floor remain hospitalized, police said Tuesday. The older of the women was listed in critical condition, police said.

"This was a horrific incident and our thoughts are with the victims and families involved," said Maj. Sabrina Tapp-Harper, who commands the Special Investigations Section, which includes domestic-violence investigators.

Grimes has tattoos of the African continent on his right cheek and "one shot" on his left, according to court records. A current attorney was not listed in court records Tuesday, and a phone number for Grimes had been disconnected.

Court records show Grimes, also known as Michaed Ford or Michael Ford, was convicted in June of failure to comply with a peace order. He was released after being sentenced to time served. His public defender in that case did not return an email.

In 2008, Maryland court records show that Grimes was given a six-year sentence for armed robbery.

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