Florida Woman Arrested After Allegedly Attempting to Burn Down Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Atlanta Birth Home

The woman, identified by police as 26-year-old Laneisha Henderson, was stopped by bystanders.

A woman was caught on video dousing the Atlanta birth home of legendary Civil Rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with gasoline, according to authorities. Off-duty police officers stopped the woman.

The woman poured gasoline on the windows and the front porch of the registered national landmark, authorities said. The home is where the Civil Rights leader lived for the first 12 years of his life.

Bryce Gandy and Zach Kempf, tourists from Utah, were visiting the house when they saw the scene unfold.

“To me, it felt miraculous that we happened to be there at that time,” they said. “She walked past me and picked up a light in the grass which I hadn’t seen, and I blocked her from going back to the house.”

The attempted arson suspect was pinned to the ground by people who turned out to be off-duty police officers from the New York City Police Department who were visiting Atlanta. Atlanta police arrived and put the woman in handcuffs.

Atlanta News First reporter Doug Rearson is covering the story.

“We don’t know the motive,” Rearson says. “If they hadn’t stopped her, this home, this very historic home, would have gone up in flames in just a matter of minutes.”

The woman was identified by police as 26-year-old Laneisha Henderson of Florida. Witnesses told Inside Edition her father and sisters showed up saying she had been missing for two days and tracked her down by her phone.

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