Police trying to return EMT accused of firebombings and his car back to CT

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Fire line tape surrounds the Roxbury Ambulance building, site of an arson investigation at 27 North Street in Roxbury, on Sunday. Suspect Richard White, of Torrington, is currently in the custody of the Pennsylvania State Police.

Fire line tape surrounds the Roxbury Ambulance building, site of an arson investigation at 27 North Street in Roxbury, on Sunday. Suspect Richard White, of Torrington, is currently in the custody of the Pennsylvania State Police.

Brian A. Pounds / Hearst Connecticut Media

The Torrington EMT accused of setting fires at emergency medical services facilities and at a home over the weekend remains in custody in Pennsylvania.

Old Saybrook Police Chief Michael Spera said Wednesday morning Connecticut authorities are “working on obtaining permission” to bring Richard White, 37, and his car back from Pennsylvania.

The Old Saybrook Police Department is the only agency to announce it has obtained an arrest warrant for arson and burglary charges in connection with the weekend incidents, which police said occurred after White was put on leave as an EMT with Hunter’s Ambulance during a disciplinary hearing Saturday morning at the company’s Meriden headquarters.

Hunter’s Ambulance officials have not responded to requests for comment and have not said why White was disciplined.

Pennsylvania State Police arrested White around 10 p.m. Saturday when they spotted his 2004 Ford Taurus heading westbound on Interstate 80 in Milton in the state’s Susquehanna River Valley region — more than 200 miles from Connecticut.

It remains unknown if White has ties to Pennsylvania or where he was headed.

Bruce Kovach, warden of the Northumberland County Jail in Pennsylvania, said Wednesday White has been in their custody since around 1:30 a.m. Sunday.

Pennsylvania State Police at the Milton barracks said they were contacted by Connecticut State Police around 8 p.m. Saturday as investigators searched for White who was wanted for allegedly setting off Molotov cocktails at four locations before fleeing the state.

Pennsylvania State Police pulled White over and he was taken into custody without incident on a fugitive from justice charge as he awaits extradition to Connecticut, Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Mark Reasner said.

In Connecticut, police said White’s crimes began late Saturday afternoon after he was suspended earlier in the day. After the disciplinary hearing, police said White got into a “physical altercation” with a fellow employee at the Meriden facility before fleeing in his car around 10 a.m.

About six hours later, police were dispatched to the Hunter’s Ambulance facility in Old Saybrook where they said White lit a Molotov cocktail in the employee room around 4:30 p.m.

By 5 p.m., police said White’s car was spotted at the Meriden facility and the driver was seen tossing a Molotov cocktail at the building before speeding away.

One hour later, Roxbury first responders were called to a fire at the EMS and fire headquarters, and to another blaze at the nearby residence. State police said over the weekend that both fires were set intentionally, and named White as a suspect.

Fire Marshal Janet Morgan said Wednesday the fire involved a detached garage at the residence that was used to store vehicles. She said the homeowner put out the blaze, which was intially reported as a “brush fire,” while firefighters were putting out a fire at the Roxbury fire house nearby on North Street. The building was not destroyed in the fire, according to Morgan.

White previously lived at the West Chalybes Road address, according to Morgan.

Morgan said some evidence has been collected from the fire at the garage and will be compared with evidence collected from other sites under investigation.

Connecticut State Police Sgt. Paul Makuc said White, a suspect in both incidents, has ties to the Roxbury facility and the home. Roxbury Ambulance Association Chief Sarah Lauriat declined to say over the weekend whether White was associated with the squad. Authorities didn’t say what was used to ignite these blazes, but said similar evidence was found at all four scenes.

There were no injuries reported from any of the incidents, police said.

Connecticut authorities said more charges are expected to be filed as the investigation continues.

Staff writer Peter Yankowski contributed to this story.