Man Faces Three Felony Charges In Star Lake Bridge Fire

Ryan Johnson Sept 2020

OTTER TAIL, CO., Minn. — The man accused of setting fire to the Star Lake Bridge in Otter Tail County on Sunday is now charged with three felony counts.

42-year-old Ryan Johnson of Dent and Mapleton is charged with possessing a firearm for a crime of violence, arson and having an explosive device.

Authorities arrived after midnight Sunday and found several 20 to 30 pound propane cylinders under the bridge.

They also smelled gas on the roadway and found a white matchbook.

Witnesses told officers they suspected Johnson who lived near the bridge.

They say he had been acting erratically while going through a divorce.

Another witness says Johnson was very upset that his dog was hit and killed on Highway 41.

Officers arrested Johnson in Detroit Lakes and during the investigation found a white matchbook on his countertop matching the one found at the scene.

They also found large amounts of ammunition and a shotgun along with marijuana and drug paraphernalia throughout the home.

Johnson is not allowed to possess firearms and ammo due to previous convictions.

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