GREENSBURG (KDKA) — Two different men are accused of lighting their jail cell on fire in Westmoreland County.READ MORE: Pennsylvania Republicans Vote To Rebuke, Not Censure, Senator Pat Toomey Over Impeachment Vote
Police said Gary Damico, 55, of Greensburg, was in his cell at the Greensburg Police Department when he lit his sock on fire. He pulled the lighter out of his back pocket. The sock was laying on the floor when he decided to light it on fire.
“Once the officer came in and hollered at him, you can see him in the video picking it up, and throw it into the toilet,” said Greensburg Capt. Robert Stafford.
Police came in then and took the lighter and other belongings away from him.
Damico told them he found the lighter in the cell.
Almost two weeks earlier, police dealt with a similar situation involving Michael O’Connell, 42, also from Greensburg, and also arrested for public drunkenness.READ MORE: Pine-Richland School Board Delays Vote On In-Person Learning Plan As Group Holds Rally Outside Meeting
“He was laying on the floor. He was able to reach through here and remove it from outside the cell block,” said Capt. Stafford.
Police caught all of it on surveillance. The lighter was on the floor outside the jail cell and police said O’Connell used it do light his t-shirt on fire. Police said he became very hostile when they asked O’Connell what he did with the lighter. He told police he flushed it.
Police said O’Connell told officers that he would harm them on the way to the Westmoreland County Prison, saying, “Wait until I see you out. I’m going to get you the worst way possible, you [expletive[.”
“I’ve been doing this for a long time, and I’ve never really had that happen before. In two weeks time, it happens with two different people,” said Capt. Stafford.
Both Damico and O’Connell are at the Westmoreland County Prison. Both face multiple charges, including arson.MORE NEWS: Revolution Pipeline Back In Service Nearly 2.5 Years After Explosion In Beaver County
Police said searches take place when a prisoner is brought to the holding cell, but sometimes things do get missed. Capt. Stafford said the department is looking into the matter.