MERIDEN — Police arrested a Hunter’s Ambulance employee on charges he threw Molotov cocktails at Hunter’s facilities in Meriden and Old Saybrook before setting fire to a Roxbury firehouse and a private home.
Old Saybrook police said 37-year-old Richard White was arrested in Pennsylvania shortly after 10 p.m. Saturday. Pennsylvania State Police took him into custody, and his car is being impounded, police said.
Old Saybrook Police Chief Michael Spera said that White had been throwing Molotov cocktails at several locations, starting several fires across the state.
“This individual has targeted those who we count on to save lives,” said Spera. “Our officers have worked diligently all evening obtaining both search and arrest warrants in an effort to quickly stop these violent attacks against public safety and cause the suspect to be taken into custody.”
At approximately 4 p.m. Saturday, police said White arrived at Hunter’s Ambulance base in Old Saybrook and ignited a makeshift Molotov cocktail inside of the employee room. He was seen fleeing in a gray Ford Taurus.
He then drove to Meriden to throw another Molotov cocktail at a Hunter’s building off West Main Street, police said.
“At approximately 5:02 PM, White arrived at Hunter’s Ambulance on West Main Street in Meriden, operating the same Ford Taurus,” Meriden police said in a statement. “The vehicle is seen approaching the ambulance holding bays on the South Vine Street side of the building, where the occupant of the vehicle is seen throwing an already lit object out of the driver side window. The Molotov cocktail strikes the building and the vehicle is seen accelerating from the scene heading west on West Main Street.”
Upon their arrival, Meriden police learned that White was a Hunter’s employee who was the subject of a disciplinary hearing and placed on administrative leave earlier in the day. Following the hearing, police were told White got into a “physical altercation” with another employee.
After the Meriden incident, police believe White then drove to Roxbury, where state police said he “intentionally set fire” to a firehouse on North Street and a residential property on Chalybes Road.
Police said no injuries were reported.
The arrest warrant for White is extraditable and charges him with arson in the third degree and burglary. His bond was set at $150,000.
“The suspect remains incarcerated in Pennsylvania and is awaiting extradition back to Connecticut to face charges in each of these municipalities,” said State Police Detective Paul Makuc.
The incidents are still being investigated and more charges are expected. State Police said the FBI and ATF are assisting with the investigation.