Sheriff charges arson after investigation of locker room flames

A 17-year-old Nelsonville boy faces court proceedings on arson charges after his arrest by the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department in an incident involving a trash-can fire inside Haldane High School last week.

The Sheriff’s Department announced the arrest on Nov. 18. According to the department, on Nov. 12, shortly before 6 p.m., the school fire alarm went off, prompting a response by Cold Spring Fire Company No. 1. Firefighters found a fire in a garbage can inside a boys’ locker room and the Sheriff’s Department got involved because of the suspicious nature of the blaze, the department said in a news release.

An investigation by Robert Ferris of the Sheriff’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation led to the apprehension of the Nelsonville youth, who was charged with fifth-degree arson, a misdemeanor. Released without bail, he awaits an appearance in Cold Spring Justice Court on Dec. 1.

If convicted, the teenager could receive a sentence of up to one year in the Putnam County Correctional Facility. The Sheriff’s Department reminded the public that a charge is an accusation and that anyone arrested is presumed innocent unless later found guilty through court action.

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