The man suspected of starting a fire at Twin Peaks was carrying a large knife when he rammed his vehicle into the restaurant, according to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.
“He had a large knife with a 8 to 10 inch blade on it,” Lt. Allan Rollins said Tuesday.
Roland Evan Croyle, 45, was arrested by the sheriff’s office Monday. Croyle crashed his blue Mitsubishi Montero SUV into the building at 12:49 p.m. and then set it on fire, the sheriff’s office said.
Croyle is being held at the Charles B. Webster Detention Center and is charged with arson in the first degree and four counts of aggravated assault. He is scheduled to appear for a first hearing on Wednesday at 2 p.m.
According to sheriff’s Sgt. Shane McDaniel, the suspect doused gas inside the restaurant and then ignited it. A bystander detained Croyle at gunpoint until Richmond County deputies arrived.
Authorities did not say whether additional weapons were recovered from the suspect’s SUV or if the suspect was given medical treatment following the arrest.
According to the sheriff’s office, Croyle stated several times that he was supposed to die. The suspect also indicated to the deputy that he intended on being shot twice in the chest and once in the head by responding officers.
Josh Gonya, a friend of Croyle’s for 20 years, said the suspect had been suffering from depression for a while but he was outgoing, “ridiculously” intelligent and humorous.
“He had a nerdy sense of humor,” Gonya said. “That was his outlet.”
Gonya said he has known Croyle since 1997. He said Croyle took a job bussing tables at Twin Peaks.
“He was fired a year ago for drinking on the job,” Gonya said. “But he told me he was drinking water and that the girls there just thought he was strange and that’s why they fired him.”
Croyle also began struggling with his marriage.
“His wife divorced him eight months ago,” Gonya said. “After his divorce he started coming over all the time.”
According to Gonya, Croyle was receiving professional help from an outpatient therapy group up until Monday’s incident.
David Hopper, a friend who has known Croyle for close to 10 years, said Croyle updated his Facebook profile picture with an image of a pistol hours before the incident occurred.
“His Facebook page all of a sudden switched its profile image to a picture of an old pistol a couple of hours before I heard this happened,” Hopper said.
Gonya said he hopes the suspect gets the care that he needs.
“I feel like I let him down because I was supposed to see him on Saturday,” he said. “But I’m glad no one got hurt and I hope they can get him the help he needs so that he could stop hurting.”