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Police: Man laughed, cheered after torching cruiser

June 17, 2015

SOUTHBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — A man is held without bail until a dangerousness hearing after Southbridge police say he doused a cruiser in gasoline and set it on fire outside the police station.

Police said on Facebook that 45-year-old Arthur Burnham entered the station’s rear parking lot at about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday and set the unoccupied cruiser on fire, then laughed and cheered. No one was hurt.

He was charged with arson of a motor vehicle and malicious destruction of property. A not guilty plea was entered at his arraignment Wednesday, and a mental health evaluation ordered before he returns to court next month.

Officer Ryan Chase tells The Telegram & Gazette that Burnham is homeless and is “very well known to the department.”

In video posted by WFXT-TV, Burnham can be heard shouting “They’re civil rights violators” as he’s being handcuffed.

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