Overland Park arson suspect accused of setting fire to home of woman who filed protection order against him

OLATHE, Kan. -- A Johnson County man made his first appearance in court Tuesday, after being accused of burning down an Overland Park home. Court documents say it was the home of a woman who had a protection order against him.

September 19th, Glen Hatchel was charged with aggravated battery and intentional harm. Tuesday he stood in court charged with two counts of arson and violating a protection order. A domestic violence victim advocate calls it all a scary connection.

"She felt very strongly that he would have killed her had she not left the house," said Janeé Hanzlick, who is the president and CEO of Safe Home.

The organization offers support for domestic violence victims. She says she was there as Hatchel made his first court appearance of suspicion of arson connected to a weekend house fire. Hatchel is accused of setting fire to a home at 165th and Metcalf Saturday.

The woman who lived in the home reportedly decided to leave Hatchel after he allegedly attacked her back in September. Hanzlick says the decision to flee can be the most dangerous time for the abused, because the abuser doesn’t want to give up control.

"If you look at the stories you can see that it's almost always when the victim has filed for protection order, filed for divorce, moved out of the home, moved out of the area, that's when you see that abuser react in extremely violent ways."

As we observe domestic violence awareness month in October, Hanzlick reminds us all that domestic violence is a very serious problem that’s filling up metro shelters nightly. It’s potentially deadly, and if you or someone you know needs help, get it now.

The Safe Home hotline is (913) 262-2868. You don’t have to give your name. Safe Home says it’s seeing an increase in the level of danger in reported domestic violence cases.