WATERVILLE – A Gardiner man who provided key testimony late last month in Raymond Bellavance Jr.’s arson trial was arrested Tuesday on charges that he stole money from a home and fled from police.

After police responded to a report of money stolen from a house on High Street, Thomas Mulkern, 26, was caught after a brief foot chase and charged with theft, refusing to submit to detention and a probation hold.

Mulkern, who had been admitted to a hospital Monday night on suspicion that he was under the influence of the drug known as bath salts, was wearing blue hospital scrubs when he was caught Tuesday, police said.

“Mulkern was combative and refused to submit to arrest. Officers struggled with him,” said Charles Rumsey, Waterville’s deputy police chief. “A Taser was deployed against Mulkern, which gained his compliance and he then submitted to arrest.”

Mulkern was a key witness for the prosecution in the recent two-week arson trial, which concluded Friday after Bellavance was found guilty of setting the fire in June 2009 that destroyed the Grand View Coffee Shop in Vassalboro.

On Dec. 23, Mulkern testified that he accompanied Bellavance and watched him set the building on fire with cans of gas.

Saying he wanted to clear his conscience after recently completing a drug rehabilitation program in jail, Mulkern reversed his previous story that he was elsewhere when the fire was set.

Rumsey said Tuesday’s incident began about 4:45 a.m., when a woman living on High Street called police to report that Mulkern and a woman had fled from her apartment window after stealing cash.

The previous night, police had taken Mulkern to MaineGeneral Medical Center’s Thayer Campus in Waterville after encountering him on Spruce Street and suspecting that he was under the influence of drugs, possibly bath salts.

As police searched High and Spruce streets Tuesday morning, officer Josh Woods recognized Mulkern in a passing taxi. The officer flagged the taxi to stop, but Mulkern — wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and the blue hospital scrubs — got out and ran away.

Others officers ran after Mulkern, who fled onto nearby May Street and then tripped and fell at the intersection with Abbott Street.

Mulkern did not have any stolen cash; police believe his accomplice does and are trying to find her.

Mulkern was taken to the Kennebec County jail in Augusta, where he remained Wednesday without bail. He’s scheduled to appear in Waterville District Court on March 20.

Waterville police said they have dealt with Mulkern previous occasions.