PIKESVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — The man accused of intentionally setting a three-alarm blaze that destroyed a Baltimore County restaurant earlier this week will be held without bail pending the review of a competency evaluation.

David McDermott was arrested Wednesday for second-degree arson. Police said he used outdoor heaters to start Jilly’s Bar and Grill on fire early Wednesday morning following an encounter with one of the owners the previous day.

Owner Kathie Reich told WJZ her husband Scott had a run-in with McDermott Tuesday night during which McDermott threatened him. The couple believed McDermott was homeless and staying in their elevator shed.

“(Scott Reich) told him he can’t stay there and he said ‘Oh, I’m not, I’m just passing through,’ and then he left and came back and was staring down our customers and they felt really uncomfortable,” Reich said.

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Police came and issued McDermott a no-trespassing order, at which time he said he would be back and told Reich to watch his back.

Hours later, Jilly’s was up in flames.

As crews investigated the fire on Wednesday, the police officers who responded Tuesday night saw McDermott nearby and recognized him.

“Sometimes it’s an indicator if someone’s involved in an arson they come back to see their work. Through the investigation, officers stopped that individual to talk to him and it was determined that he was responsible for setting the place on fire,” Baltimore County Police Department Sgt. Vickie Warehime said.

The judge also granted a prosecutor’s request to require McDermott to stay away from the restaurant and a Pikesville church.

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Ava-joye Burnett

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