PORTERDALE — Just days before he allegedly set himself on fire inside the Kroger grocery store in Covington, Timothy Singleton reportedly attempted to commit suicide by cutting himself.
According to an incident report from the Porterdale Police Department, an anonymous caller contacted the Police Department around 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16, to report that a white male who was bleeding profusely was knocking on their back door.
Officer Seth Wheeless arrived at the home and reported that he found Singleton, who was unresponsive, laying against the back door of the residence on Cedar Street.
“Mr. Singleton had a large laceration across his left wrist and what appeared to be two X-marks cut on each of his facial cheeks,” the incident report states.
Once Newton EMS arrived, Wheeless began to search the area and followed a blood trail around the house and found a fresh empty bottle of mouthwash, a broken shaving razor and “copious amounts of blood on the ground,” he reported.
Wheeless stated he approached Singleton, who was being treated by EMS, and asked if he was trying to harm himself or someone else. He stated, “Yes, I did it to myself,” the report states.
Singleton reportedly told Wheeless he no longer wanted to talk to him and told the medics that he had been drinking alcohol.
Singleton was transported to Newton Medical Center where he was placed on suicide watch, according to the incident report.
On Tuesday, 26-year-old Singleton, who lives in Monroe but also has family in Porterdale, reportedly entered the Kroger grocery store on U.S. Highway 278 around 4:30 p.m. and began dousing himself with rubbing alcohol. When police arrived to subdue the man, who was heard warning customers there was “going to be trouble on this aisle,” he then pulled out a lighter and set himself on fire, according to the Covington Police Department.
The store was evacuated and police officers tackled the man and were able to extinguish the flames. Capt. Ken Malcom said that one officer was treated at Newton Medical Center for minor burns and another was treated at the scene. Two officers received breathing treatments for exposure to the fire extinguisher, he said.
Malcom said Singleton is to be charged with aggravated assault on police officers, but other charges may be forthcoming.
“I want to say what a great job our officers did,” Malcom said, identifying in particular officers Julie English, Grant Satterfield, Chip Shirah and Tim Brown “This was a dangerous situation, and could have potentially become a deadly force situation. The officers could have received serious injuries when Singleton set himself on fire. They thought quickly and made quick decisions.”