Vt. man charged with setting fire in Lebanon Police Department lobby

  • Michael Fleming (Lebanon Police photograph)

Published: 10/28/2021 9:50:43 PM
Modified: 10/29/2021 9:34:45 PM

LEBANON — A 38-year-old Bradford, Vt., man faces arson and other charges after police said he started a fire in the lobby of the Lebanon Police Department on Poverty Lane on Thursday.

Michael Fleming had been released on personal recognizance bail following a theft arrest but declined a ride home, Lebanon police said in a news release.

When police officers left him in the lobby area, Fleming lit a box of facial tissues on fire at the dispatch window, using a lighter he took from his backpack, the release said. Fleming also poured hand sanitizer on the burning box to fuel the flames, according to police.

When Cpl. Ryan Brewster pushed Fleming out of the way and attempted to stomp out the flames, Brewster’s boot and pant leg caught fire, and Fleming threw the bottle of sanitizer at Brewster and another officer, the release said. The flames burned a section of carpet and lobby floor, police said.

Fleming, who was placed in protective custody and taken to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, was charged with arson — a felony — and two misdemeanors — simple assault and contempt, police said. Fleming was later taken to the Grafton County jail pending arraignment.

Fleming was also charged in June with breaking into a business in Bradford and a house in West Lebanon while he was out on bail on other charges.

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