Police: Torrington EMT suspected of arsons held as fugitive

The Torrington EMT suspected of arson fires at emergency services facilities on Saturday remains held as a fugitive from justice in Pennsylvania, authorities said.

The EMT — identified by police as 37-year-old Richard White — was taken into custody late Saturday night after authorities said he set four fires that damaged a Roxbury home and emergency services facilities in Meriden, Old Saybrook and Roxbury.

Pennsylvania state police said that White was stopped traveling west on I-80 Saturday after their troopers were notified by Connecticut law enforcement that he was in the area. He was later incarcerated at Northumberland County Jail to await extradition, Pennsylvania state police said.

Police in Old Saybrook obtained a warrant Saturday charging White with arson and burglary for a fire at the Hunter’s Ambulance facility on Boston Post Road.

It is not clear when he will face a judge in Pennsylvania or return to Connecticut, but authorities in Connecticut said they are working on filing more charges against White.

Before allegedly setting the fires, White got into a fight with a fellow Hunter’s Ambulance employee after being placed on leave in a disciplinary hearing, police said. Officials have not said what led to the hearing.

The string of events started with a call to police around 10 a.m. Saturday when officers were dispatched to the Hunter’s Ambulance headquarters in Meriden. Police say they learned White had been put on leave and then got into a “physical altercation” with another employee before fleeing in a gray Ford Taurus.

Roughly six hours later, police say White allegedly lit a Molotov cocktail in the employee room of the Hunter’s Ambulance facility in Old Saybrook around 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

By about 5 p.m., officials say White’s car was seen back at the Meriden facility as the driver threw a lit Molotov cocktail at the building before speeding off.

An hour later, Roxbury officials were called to a fire at the EMS and fire headquarters, as well as a reported fire at a nearby residence. Connecticut state police said over the weekend that White is also suspected of setting those fires. Officials didn’t say what was used to ignite these blazes, but did say similar evidence was found at all four scenes.

There were no injuries reported from any of the arson fires reported Saturday, Connecticut authorities said.

White was taken into custody around 10 p.m. Saturday more than 200 miles from Roxbury in Milton, Pa.

Connecticut State Police Sgt. Paul Makuc said White has ties to the Roxbury EMS facility and the nearby home. Roxbury Ambulance Association Chief Sarah Lauriat declined to say over the weekend whether White was associated with the squad.

Staff writers Peter Yankowski and J.D. Freda contributed to this story.