CLEARFIELD – A Clearfield man is facing multiple charges for allegedly attempting to start a fire in his hotel room and then fighting with police.
Aaron A. Schmitt, 32, is being charged by Lawrence Township police with felony attempted arson, criminal mischief and risking catastrophe and misdemeanor resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and communications with 911 systems.
According to a department news release, police received a report about an activated smoke alarm and a room flooding at 2:49 a.m. Thursday at the Super 8 Hotel, Clearfield.
Upon arrival on-scene, officers observed water flowing down the hallway from Schmitt’s room. The entire room was flooded with the fire sprinklers actively spraying water in the bathroom.
Inside the room, police located Schmitt’s cat, which was cowered on the corner of the bed, and he was asked multiple times to take it from the room. Officers ultimately took the cat and gave it to Schmitt, who was in the hotel office on the phone.
At one point, Schmitt slammed the office door on police and when officers reentered the flooded room, he reportedly threw his cat on the ground and began to fight with them. He was then cuffed and taken into custody.
Upon further investigation, officers found a burnt piece of paper on the bathroom light that was beside the fire sprinklers. Burnt pieces of paper were also found in water that flooded the hallway, police say.
Later, it was found that Schmitt had called 911 and the Clearfield County Control non-emergency number numerous times, while officers and other emergency responders were already on-scene.
Schmitt is currently being held at the Clearfield County Jail.