Update: Last week, we told you about the search warrant out for Lucas Piper, 22, who allegedly attempted to burn down a Lakewood home filled with people he'd met at the previous evening's String Cheese Incident concert at Red Rocks; see our previous coverage below. Authorities thought Piper might have shaved off his beard and cut his hair in order to evade capture -- and they were half-right. After being taken into custody, he posed for a mug shot showing his locks still in place but his face covered only by stubble. Get more details below.
As we reported, Piper and a companion, Rachel Lewin, are said to have attended the July 26 SCI show on the Rocks. There, they met a number of people through a mutual acquaintance and were invited to a post-show party at a duplex on the 12300 block of West Viewpoint Drive in Lakewood.
Some time during the early morning hours of July 27, according to the aforementioned arrest warrant, Piper got into an argument over drugs. He's said to have declared that he would burn down the residence. Then, shortly after he and Lewin split, flames started on the porch.
The fire did considerable damage to the property and resulted in one minor injury.
Lewin was caught almost immediately, but Piper managed to scamper away. But after police shared around his photo, and noted that he was wanted for first-degree arson and nine counts of attempted murder (the number corresponding to the combined total of people in the duplex), he didn't remain free for long.
A news release from the Lakewood Police Department reveals that a tip from someone who apparently recognized him for the pic led to his arrest late Friday.
Here's a larger look at his booking photo, followed by our previous coverage.
Continue for our previous coverage of Lucas Piper and the post-String Cheese Incident concert arson in Lakewood. Original post, 9:50 a.m. August 1: Fans of the String Cheese Incident are known as a mellow lot -- people who love getting lost in the music and grooving with fans sharing the same head space. But the Lakewood Police Department believes 22-year-old Lucas Piper is an exception to this rule, despite sporting the sort of beard and dreadlocks familiar to members of SCI Nation. After attending a recent gig by the band, Piper is said to have gone to the home of fellow concert goers and tried to burn it down with them still in it -- which is why he's wanted for multiple counts of attempted murder.
According to LPD spokesman Steve Davis, citing a police report about the incident, Piper and a female companion, Rachel Lewin, 21, attended the String Cheese Incident concert at Red Rocks on July 26 -- a gig that inspired a Westword slide show.
Afterward, they were invited to the home of James Bartlett, who lives in a duplex on the 12300 block of West Viewpoint Drive -- not that they were pals. "Before that night, the home owner and Lewin and Piper were not acquainted with one another," Davis says. "They apparently met that night. Piper and Lewin were invited to the house and the concert by someone all of them knew who never showed up." Piper and Lewin are said to have arrived at the address around 1 a.m. on Saturday, July 27, with others filtering in afterward. Davis notes that Piper was introduced to Bartlett and others there not by his given name, but as "Sky."
Another witness -- Conner Wood, described in the report as a friend of Bartlett's -- told investigators that Piper subsequently got into a conversation that turned sour. "They were talking about different kinds of drugs," Davis allows, "and Wood said Sky didn't take kindly to it; he called Sky a rude person."
After that, Wood and a friend left for a while -- and upon his return, Davis quotes him as saying, "Sky was upset about something."
He was also threatening, the report maintains. Referencing Bartlett, Davis says "Sky was angry and made a statement about burning down his house."
At that point, Piper and Lewin left -- "and about fifteen minutes later," Davis continues, "the fire started."
Continue for more about the search for Lucas Piper, including additional photos. When West Metro Fire responded to the scene, shortly before 5 a.m., the duplex was engulfed in flames, with the blaze having apparently started on the front porch. Firefighters eventually managed to knock it down -- they describe the damage as "moderate," while police on the scene called it "extensive" -- and have determined that it was deliberately set.
As the flames climbed, Davis says, "there were four or five people in the home." However, the residents of the duplex were also around. For that reason, an arrest warrant written in Piper's name lists nine counts of attempted homicide on top of first-degree arson. (One person suffered minor injuries.) More charges are also possible.
Lewin was promptly taken into custody, but Piper remains at large as of now. He's described as a five-foot-seven-inch, 130-pound white male with brown hair and eyes, plus a beard and dreadlocks. However, police think it's possible he may have cut off his locks and shaved. Investigators "may feel he burnt part of his beard when he set the fire," Davis says.
Is Piper considered dangerous? "Personally, I would think so," Davis replies. "Anyone who's going to set fire to the front of a house knowing there are several people in there...well, I think that's dangerous."
Folks with information about Piper's whereabouts are encouraged to phone Lakewood Police Detective Jonathan Lee at 303-987-7111. Look below to see a photo of Piper and Lewin's mug shot.
More from our Schmuck of the Week archive: "Terry Ballowe found guilty of schmucky plan to torch his bed & breakfast."
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.