Woman charged with attempted arson of Martin Luther King Jr. birthplace in Atlanta


ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta police have arrested a woman who's accused of trying to burn down the birth home of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in Atlanta.

Officers arrested the 26-year-old woman around 5:45 p.m. Thursday after responding to a report of vandalism in process at the two-story home in the historic Auburn Avenue Historic District, according to a police statement.

Police say a preliminary investigation shows the woman had poured gasoline on the property before people at the site stopped her. Her name was not immediately released. She's charged with second-degree attempted arson and interference with government property. The historic site is now a museum operated by the National Park Service.

“Tonight, an unfortunate incident occurred at the birth home of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as an individual attempted to set fire to this historic property,” The King Center said in a statement posted on X, formerly Twitter. “Fortunately, the attempt was unsuccessful, thanks to the brave intervention of good samaritans and the quick response of law enforcement.”

The statement from the nonprofit organization, which is dedicated to preserving the legacy of King and his wife Coretta Scott King, also said, “Our prayers are with the individual who allegedly committed this criminal act.”