State police said a man will face multiple felony charges in connection to intentionally set fires in Meriden and other towns once he is extradited back to the state from Pennsylvania.
Old Saybrook police said Richard White, 37, was arrested in Pennsylvania shortly after 10 p.m. Saturday. Pennsylvania State Police took him into custody and impounded his car, police said.
Meriden police said they will submit warrants for the incidents that occurred in the city. No other information about the charges White will face was available Monday, Meriden Police Capt. John Mennone said.
State police said White will face ”multiple felony charges” in connection to the incidents. State police noted the investigation is not complete, so the charges have not been “fully set.” White has not yet been charged with a warrant, state police said.
According to Pennsylvania state police, White was taken into custody in Northumberland County and is being held on a fugitive from justice warrant pending
extradition back to Connecticut.
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.
Around 5:02 PM, White arrived at Hunter’s Ambulance on West Main Street in Meriden, Meriden police said in a statement. White’s vehicle approaches the ambulance holding bays, where the occupant of the vehicle is seen throwing an “already lit object” out of the driver side window, police said. The Molotov cocktail hit the building and the vehicle fled the scene on West Main Street.
Meriden police learned White, a Hunter’s employee, was the subject of a disciplinary hearing and placed on administrative leave earlier in the day. After the hearing, police were told White got into a “physical altercation” with another employee and left. Mennone said there were no injuries reported from that incident or the Molotov cocktail being thrown at the building.
“Understandably our staff was shaken by the events occurring on Saturday, February 27th ,” David Lowell, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Hunter’s Ambulance, said in an email Monday, “We are grateful for the rapid response and services provided by the Fire and Police departments of Meriden and Old Saybrook...Our EMTs and Paramedics work closely with these departments on a daily basis by responding in the community to other people's needs. Saturday we became the victims of senseless acts of violence. Thankfully, due to the swift actions of our staff and of fire and police professionals in the communities we serve, no one was injured and property damage was minimized. “
Lowell said a person who is “the likely suspect” in the “horrific acts” was taken into custody within a few hours. He noted this was a quick and thorough investigation and involved multiple jurisdictions and state communication.The health and safety of Hunter’s Ambulance employees is their primary concern, Lowell said.
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.