Police: Drunken guest torched Manchester Twp. motel room
A drunken Manchester Township motel guest allegedly trashed and torched his room, then tried to enlist officers to help find his "wife," whose existence is uncertain, according to police.
Arthur Wilfred Ostiguy has been relocated to York County Prison — think of it as the Graybar Hotel — in lieu of $10,000 bail. Meals are free, and the cells are largely arson-proof.
And just like his former room at the Super 8 Motel, his wife is nowhere to be found.
Ostiguy, 44, of New Bedford, Massachusetts, is charged with various counts of arson as well as risking a catastrophe, reckless endangerment, criminal mischief, dangerous burning and public drunkenness.
Northern York County Regional Police arrested him the night of Friday, Sept. 1, in the parking lot of the Motel 6, where he had run after fleeing Room 314 of the Super 8, according to charging documents.
What happened: Ostiguy's Super 8 room sustained extensive damage, according to charging documents.
Police and fire crews were called to the 40 Arsenal Road motel shortly after 10 p.m. Friday because Room 314 was filling with thick smoke, documents state.
Numerous guests had called 911 to report the fire, according to police.
A motel employee told police the occupant of the room had run across the street to the Motel 6, and Officer Isaiah Emenheiser found Ostiguy in the Motel 6 parking lot, sitting in a mulch bed under a tree, police said.
Charging documents state Ostiguy smelled of alcohol and smoke, and when Emenheiser asked whether he knew anything about the Super 8 fire, Ostiguy said, "It was an accident, officer!"
Burning clothing: Ostiguy said he and his wife "Amy" had been staying in the room and that fire erupted when a lit cigarette butt landed on a pile of clothing, police reported.
He told police he threw the burning pile of clothes out the window and then fled the property because "he was scared," charging documents state.
He claimed he stopped at the front desk to alert them to the room fire, but police said Super 8's general manager said that wasn't true, documents state.
Emenheiser asked Ostiguy to stand, but doing so caused the man to lose his balance and nearly fall, according to charging documents, which state he had further trouble "maintaining balance" as he was led to a police cruiser, "visibly intoxicated."
Prior to being taken into custody, Ostiguy insisted he had to find his wife, Amy, and told officers she was pregnant and using crutches for a broken ankle, police said.
The elusive Amy: She was never found, assuming she exists.
Ostiguy was the only guest registered to the room, and he was unable to provide a phone number or any other way of contacting her, documents state.
"We found no personal belongings in the room that appeared to belong to a female," Northern Regional Lt. David Lash said.
Room 314 "was completely trashed, and everything inside the room was smashed and broken, including most of the furnishings belonging to the hotel," charging documents state.
Police said the motel's general manager will provide investigators with a total damage estimate once it's available.
WPRI Eyewitness News in Massachusetts reported in June 2016 that Ostiguy allegedly stabbed a fellow homeless man in New Bedford.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.