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Man Charged with Arson Ignited Molotov Cocktail Inside House, Police Say

by on June 12, 2018 12:19 PM

A State College man is facing arson charges after he allegedly tried to burn his house down.

Alpha Fire Company and State College police responded to a structure fire on Oneida Street at 9:15 a.m. on May 13 and found fire and smoke pouring from the house. 

Police said the resident, Vincent Novielli, 25, was in the front yard and had severe burns on his left leg and his left hand was bleeding. No other residents were present at the time.

Novielli allegedly spoke about "stabbing a dish" and made numerous comments to officers about setting his residence on fire. He also said that it was arson and he wanted to go to jail, according to a criminal complaint. 

He was taken to Mount Nittany Medical Center for treatment and later transported to the Lehigh Valley Health Network Regional Burn Center.

After the fire was extinguished, police and fire inspectors went inside and found the kitchen damaged by smoke and fire and a window broken. According to the complaint, a scattered, burnt Molotov cocktail was observed on the kitchen floor and another, un-ignited Molotov cocktail was found near the living room fireplace. Police said a red plastic gas can believed to contain gasoline and a measuring cup filled with a substance believed to be gasoline were on the kitchen counter. Lighters also were present in the house and blood was observed on the kitchen counter and floor.

Novielli is charged with three felony counts of arson for danger of death or bodily injury, inhabited building and endangering property; one felony count of causing catastrophe; and misdemeanor counts of criminal mischief and recklessly endangering another person. 

He was arraigned on Monday afternoon before District Judge Carmine Prestia and was unable to post $100,000 straight monetary bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 20.

Geoff Rushton is managing editor for Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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