A Tyrone man is facing a slew of charges after police say he attempted to light himself and a camper on fire, and threatened to light police on fire while resisting arrest.
According to state police at Hollidaysburg, Jason Allen Morrissey, 37, was in a verbal argument with his girlfriend around noon Saturday at their residence on Belmont Avenue in Snyder Township, Blair County. The argument allegedly lasted into the evening, during which time Morrissey is said to have consumed numerous alcoholic beverages.
A neighbor claimed to have seen Morrissey threaten to end his life and light himself on fire around 9 p.m.
The neighbor allegedly witnessed Morrissey pour gasoline near and around a white aluminum 1979 Aveco Alstead camper that was parked on his property. Morrissey then allegedly poured the gasoline inside the camper, and over his head and upper torso.
According to the witness, Morrissey made suicidal threats and repeated attempts to ignite a longneck lighter.
When state police troopers arrived on the scene, they allegedly found Morrissey seated at the door of the camper. Morrissey and the ground appeared damp, according to the police report, and there was a strong odor of gasoline.
Morrissey verbally refused requests from the troopers to set the lighter down, step away from the camper and submit to detention, according to police. He allegedly took possession of a 5-gallon gasoline can and threatened to throw it on the approaching troopers. He then attempted to douse four troopers, threatening to ignite them while repeatedly igniting his lighter, according to police.
Fire retardant powder was discharged at Morrissey each tine he attempted to ignite his lighter, according to police.
Morrissey then retreated back into his camper, where flame ignition was observed.
Troopers broke out the camper windows and used a fire extinguisher to prevent Morrissey from catching himself and the camper on fire, according to police.
Two trooper then entered the camper and attempted to apprehend Morrissey, when Morrissey allegedly doused one of them with gasoline.
Morrissey was eventually apprehended at the scene after several more unsuccessful attempts to take him into custody.
Morrissey was arraigned Sunday in Blair County Court by District Judge Fred Miller on felony charges of aggravated assault and criminal intent-arson-danger of death or bodily injury, and misdemeanor charges of terroristic threats, reckless endangerment, resisting arrest, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct.