Homeless Man Looking for Jail Stay Sets Fire to Own Car

PUNXSUTAWNEY BOROUGH, Pa. (EYT) – Three hots and a cot.

Apparently that’s what a homeless man was looking for when he purposely set his car on fire Monday in Punxsutawney.

Court documents indicate the Punxsutawney Borough Police Department filed criminal charges against 21-year-old Joshua Paul Blystone on Tuesday at Magisterial District Judge Jacqueline J. Mizerock’s office.

According to a criminal complaint, around 8:10 p.m. on Monday, May 13, Officer Zeitler of the Punxsutawney Borough Police Department was dispatched to a vehicle fire in the parking lot of CenClear along Elk Run Avenue.

Officer Zeitler spoke with Fire Chief Doug McAfoos upon his arrival and was informed that the fire was intentionally set on the front seat of the vehicle. A Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal was then called to the scene. Trooper Compton of the Forensics Service from the Punxsutawney-based State Police arrived and began taking photos of the scene.

According to the complaint, Officer Zeitler was walking to the front of the parking lot when he was approached by a man who said “go ahead and take me,” and when Officer Zeitler asked him “where?” the man said “to jail.” The man, later identified as Joshua Blystone, then related that the vehicle was his, and he had set it on fire because he was homeless and had nowhere to go.

Blystone was then handcuffed and placed under arrest.

After arranging to have the vehicle towed, Officer Zeitler returned to the station with Blystone.

According to the complaint, Blystone agreed to speak with Officer Zeitler and gave a written statement in which he said he set the car on fire using a lighter and clothes that were in the car and then walked away. He then went to McDonald’s and came back to turn himself in. He said he was “homeless and tired of running.”

Blystone was arraigned in front of Judge Mizerock at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 14, on the following charge:

– Arson-Danger Of Death Or Bodily Injury, Felony 1

Unable to post $30,000.00 cash bail, Blystone was lodged in the Jefferson County Jail.


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