ROOTSTOWN — A Portage County sheriff’s deputy who was hospitalized Thursday night after being set on fire while arresting a fugitive is expected to recover, Sheriff David Doak said Friday.

Sgt. James Acklin suffered burns on about 20 percent of his body, mostly on his hands and arms, Doak said, adding that Acklin has served a long and distinguished career with the sheriff’s office and is just 70 days from retirement.

“They’re giving him stuff for pain management, but he’s doing OK,” he said. “He’s got some second- and third-degree burns, and I was told over 20 to 23 percent of his body, different areas of his body. Fortunately they weren’t bad facial burns. Most of it were to his arms and his hands. His legs got burnt a little and along with his hip.”

Acklin joined the sheriff’s office in 1997 and was promoted to sergeant in 2017.

The fugitive, Jay E. Brannon, 45, whose last known address is 1130 Route 183 in Atwater, is being held at the Portage County jail on five counts of attempted aggravated murder and five counts of aggravated arson, along with other charges.

Brannon appeared for his arraignment in a restraint jacket before Judge Barbara Oswick in Portage County Municipal Court in Ravenna via video on Friday. Oswick set his bond at $1 million cash, which the assistant prosecutor recommended, citing concerns that Brannon had already eluded justice once and was charged with a serious offense.

Brannon did not speak during the hearing as Oswick read his charges and the potential penalties for the charges.

Doak said three deputies and two officers from the Northeast Ohio Medical University were serving felony warrants on Brannon at 6:43 p.m. Thursday after receiving confidential information that he was at a home at 3969 Route 44. Doak said Brannon was hiding in a garage on the rural-residential property, where deputies found him crouched in front of a pickup truck that was in the process of being repaired.

The officers detained two people outside the garage before entering it to confront Brannon. One of them, Michael Moore, 59, of Ravenna, was arrested on unrelated warrants on felony drug charges.

Doak said that Brannon ignited a can of flammable liquid and proceeded to make threats that he was going to “kill the cops" when confronted by officers inside the garage.

Brannon also made comments that he wanted officers to kill him, Doak said. Brannon then threw the ignited can of flammable liquid at the officers, striking Acklin, who fled outside with his clothing on fire. Fellow deputies and officers put out the flames as Brannon charged the officers in the garage and attempted to assault them before he was taken into custody, Doak said.

Doak said deputies are not sure what the liquid was that Brannon allegedly ignited and threw at Acklin and other officers.

“We suspect it was something like you would thin paint with,” Doak said. “We’re sending it out to the lab.”

Acklin was taken to Akron Children’s Hospital’s burn unit by Rootstown EMS. Two other officers were treated and released at UH Portage Medical Center in Ravenna for smoke inhalation.

Rootstown Fire Chief Chuck Palmer said firefighters were called to the scene to deal with the garage fire. The fire station is only four houses away.

"When we arrived, we found the garage burning and started to extinguish the garage and then we were advised that there was a deputy that was burned at the beginning of the incident before we got there," he said.

He said the fire was contained to the interior of the garage, where there were two pickup trucks, Palmer said.

Brannon was wanted on multiple warrants, including warrants related to an investigation deputies had been conducting in January. Portage County Prosecutor Victor Vigluicci would not comment on the investigation, but said Brannon had also been wanted on a warrant based on a 2017 felony drug conviction, where he had failed a court-ordered drug treatment program. The warrant was issued after he failed to report to probation officers in November.

Brannon, who is 6-foot-6 and 210 pounds, was one of Portage County’s “Top 10 Most Wanted Fugitives” and was considered armed and dangerous.

Akron Beacon Journal reporter Rick Armon and Record-Courier reporter Eileen McClory contributed to this story.