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An American University professor was arrested early Thursday morning on burglary and destruction of property charges after he broke into a building near campus and set a chair on fire. Police say they arrested David Pitts around 4:50 a.m. early Thursday at the Foxhall Square shopping center at 3301 New Mexico Avenue NW.
The Associated Press reports that Pitts was found with matches, lighters, gloves, a newspaper, and a black liquid substance.
Pitts is the chair of AU’s Public Administration and Policy department.
The university said it was aware of the arrest and is cooperating with the investigation. Pitts has been put on leave and professor Alison Jacknowitz, according to the university, will take over department chair responsibilities immediately.
“At this time, we are not aware of any safety threats to our community and we are working closely with MPD and AU Public Safety to continually assess the situation,” Teresa Flannery, vice president for communication, said in a statement. “We appreciate the support and cooperation of all members of the community during this difficult time.”