Fri. May 24th, 2024

Suspect arrested after fire at Bernie Sanders’ Vermont office

By 37ci3 Apr7,2024

A suspect was arrested on Sunday Fire at Senator Bernie Sanders’ office in Vermont According to the Department of Justice, it is being investigated as arson.

Shant Sogomonian, 35, formerly of Northridge, California, also known as Michael Sogomonian, was arrested Sunday in Burlington, Vermont, on charges of setting a building on fire. Sanders DOJ is located he said in a press release.

Sogomonyan allegedly entered the building Friday morning and went to the third floor, where Sanders’ Burlington office is located, according to court documents. Security video shows the suspect spraying liquid near the office’s exterior door and lighting the area with a hand lighter and starting a fire, according to the DOJ.

Bernie Sanders' office in Burlington, Vermont
Bernie Sanders’ office in Burlington, Vt.NBC News

The DOJ said the fire damaged the exterior of the door to Sanders’ office and surrounding areas, and caused sprinklers in the building to discharge several floors. Several of Sanders’ staffers were in the office at the time, but were not physically injured during the incident, officials added. Although the number of other residents in the building at the time is unknown, it is reported that there were no injuries.

fire suspect Bernie Sanders office
The man pictured above is suspected of setting a fire outside Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ office in Burlington.Burlington Police Department

Reached for comment Sunday, Sanders’ office pointed to a statement he made in response to the fire at his Vermont office.

“I am deeply appreciative of the swift, professional, coordinated efforts of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in response to Friday’s fire at my Vermont office,” he said. “I am also thankful that none of the many people who were in the office building during the fire were injured.”

“I appreciate the support and well wishes given to me and my staff,” he said. “We are proud to be able to continue to serve Vermonters during these challenging times.”

Firefighters were dispatched to the building, which is home to Sanders’ only congressional office in the state, on Friday. They discovered a fire in the vestibule between the elevator and the entrance door [Sanders’] office,” the fire department reported.

Kathryn Van Haste, Sanders’ state director, said in a statement Friday that no employees at the building were injured in the incident. Sanders was not in the building at the time.

Sogomonya’s initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin J. Doyle has not yet been scheduled. He faces 5 to 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 if convicted. It is not clear whether Sogomonya filed a lawsuit or not.

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