Wareham man charged with setting house on fire with woman inside held without bail

Apr 17, 2018
Courtesy of: Wareham Police Department Mondel Johnson, charged with attacking a woman with a hammer and setting a house on fire with her inside, will appear in court again on May 8.

A 40-year-old East Wareham man will remain behind bars, held without bail, after a judge deemed him “dangerous” in the wake of a house fire he allegedly started after attacking a woman.

Mondel Johnson, of 18 Baker Road, is charged with striking a woman with a hammer, dousing her in fluid and then setting the home at 36 Restful Lane on fire early on March 29.

On April 13, he was in Wareham District Court for a dangerousness hearing. The hearing determined whether or not Johnson posed a substantial risk of committing a felony using force. As a result, he will be held no longer than 120 days at the Plymouth County House of Correction.

According to court documents, Johnson and the woman, who police did not identify, entered the home a few hours after midnight to use drugs. The home, which had been condemned weeks earlier due to storm damage, was unoccupied.

Prosecutors said the woman asked Johnson to use his cell phone for light, but he refused. He then allegedly attacked her with a hammer, doused her with what she believed to be cooking oil, kicked her until she was unconscious and then set the house on fire.

"(The victim) stated the male began lighting pieces of newspaper and began throwing them at her," court documents stated.

Prosecutors said the woman ran out of the house after waking up and sought help. The victim was then taken to Tobey Hospital for treatment and released. For several hours after the fire, authorities were unsure of the woman's whereabouts and searched the charred remains of the house.

Johnson is charged with: attempted murder, arson of a dwelling (house) and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

Johnson will appear again in Wareham District Court on May 8 for a probable cause hearing, according to Plymouth County District Attorney spokeswoman Beth Stone.

Comments (11)
Posted by: Spherebreaker | Apr 17, 2018 08:45

Its Shangri La Mondel! "It puts the oil on its skin or it gets the hammer again".

Posted by: cranky pants | Apr 17, 2018 09:59

Well there it is folks, that's the threshold for being deemed "dangerous".

You can beat someone up with a hammer, you can try to set them on fire, or you could burn the house down... But if you do all three you're going to be considered dangerous.

Stay careful out there peeps.

Posted by: Swifts_Sheriff | Apr 17, 2018 16:06

Held Without Bail..... MUSIC TO MY EARS

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Apr 17, 2018 20:04

This is no big deal.  Same stuff happens in all towns.  A woman in Marion just beat her husband with a monkey wrench, threw motor oil on him, and burnt their house down.

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Apr 18, 2018 00:41

I was being sarcastic in that last comment but here’s a serious question about communication between the hospital, police, and fire.


I shouldn't have to explain, but for those that find it inappropriate, I did it to shed a little light on such awful news.


Wouldn't one think that the ER at Toby would have called the Police to inform them that she was there?  That would have saved the several hours spent searching for her.  It’s not every day that a woman with hammer and kick wounds, covered in cooling oil, escapes from a burning house and goes to the ER!  That type of situation should require the police be notified immediately.

Posted by: cranky pants | Apr 18, 2018 07:29

That would have made things way too easy. I mean, it's pretty much a common cooking incident to get kicked, covered in oil, clobbered with a hammer and then burned. Nothing to see here folks, just another crack-head cooking class.

Posted by: WarehamSocks | Apr 18, 2018 12:21

And they say nothing ever happens on Restful Lane.

Posted by: Linda | Apr 18, 2018 13:12

The WFD & WPD were very closed mouth in interviews, which made me think they knew more.  The female got 3 staples in her skull at Tobey.  Do you actually think Tobey didn't call WPD?  They are also familiar with her name.


What I question more is how they got into the house (hole in roof).  The neighbors must have known they were there or maybe the owner knew.   Who told WFD someone might be in the house?  We'll hear it all when he goes to trial - maybe.

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Apr 18, 2018 22:21

Linda - I do actually think there was some kind of communication breakdown.  Otherwise why did they continue to look for her for several hours if they knew she was at Toby?


I can answer your question about how they got in.  Putting it nicely, it wasn't a very nice house in a nice neighborhood. Previous reports described it as rundown with broken windows.  Surrounding houses are not exactly what one would expect to be members of a neighborhood watch.  I took a ride by on the day of the fire and was surprised at how sketchy it was.  All those restful, blissful, peaceful streets get nice by the pond...but not so  much near  where  the fire happened.


I tip toed around that to be nice so nobody yells at me.  Should anybody still feel compelled to chastise me for stating the obvious, please take a ride down the Shang and take a gander around the remains of the house.  You'll see...

Posted by: Linda | Apr 20, 2018 15:53

WBTS, I'm sure there were different stories.  I heard he showed someone in the neighborhood the hammer and told them what he was going to do to her.  The house was on fire when she woke and ran out and one story said he ran after her but lost site of her.  Obviously he watched the fire for a while, so WHO said there was possibly a person in there?  The FD would keep looking, no matter what.


Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Apr 20, 2018 16:31

Linda - yes, there has got to be more than one story.  None are probably good. This is just a lousy thing all around.

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