National Park Service evaluating security measures following arson attempt at MLK home

ATLANTA — Laneisha Henderson is accused of trying to set the birth home of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., on fire.

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It happened Thursday evening, at the home on Auburn Avenue.

Cell phone video showed a woman, later identified as Henderson, dressed in all black and dousing the MLK home with gasoline.

Friday, Channel 2′s Audrey Washington spoke with a group of visitors from Houston, TX.


Had we arrived today, and it was burned down, we would’ve been devasted. Oh my God,” said visitor Linda Stephens.

Two retired NYPD officers, who happened to be visiting the historic site, detained Henderson.

Channel 2 Action News spoke with a witness who stopped Henderson from setting the house on fire.

“She grabbed a lighter and started to come back up the stairs. So, I stood at the stairs and said you can’t do this and blocked her,” witness Zach Kempf explained.

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Henderson is charged with arson and interference with government property.

“Something is wrong with your thinking, your mentality. Why would you want to destroy something so significant in history,” visitor Sally Shuler asked Channel 2′s Audrey Washington on Friday.

There is no official word on what led up to the incident, but Henderson’s father told Channel 2, that his daughter suffers from a mental illness.

“That home means so much,” said Judy Forte, the Superintendent of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park.

Forte explained what she believes needs to be done to prevent another incident.

“Having more measures in place that address security in the area is what we are looking at now,” Forte added.

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