Suspected arsonist escapes police before recapture – New York News

GLOVERSVILLE — A man who police said started a fire at the former YWCA building on Bleecker Street — and later escaped police custody before being recaptured — is now facing charges. 


The drama unfolded Tuesday morning at around 7 a.m., when city firefighters arrived at 33 Bleecker St. and put out a fire. A police report said that, after extinguishing the fire, it was clear to fire officials that the blaze was intentionally set. 

Police asked for assistance from a state police K-9 unit. Specialized evidence collection equipment was also brought to the scene by the state Office of Fire Prevention and Control. 

With evidence gathered at the fire scene, and with surveillance camera footage from both public and private cameras, police identified Mitchell S. Swart as a suspect in the crime and arrested him, according to the police statement. 

Police believe Swart broke into the YWCA building, which was being rented by the Agape Christian Fellowship, and started the fire using an accelerant. The building was damaged but no destroyed. 

After being taken into custody, Swart managed to escape from the police department before being taken back into custody in the police department parking lot on Frontage Road. 

Swart was arraigned by Judge Michael Viscosi and was sent to the Fulton County Correctional Facility without bail, due to having two previous felony convictions. 

In October, another person arrested by the Gloversville Police Department was able to escape briefly. Heaven Puleski, who was picked up by on a drug warrant, escaped police custody and fled to Schenectady, where she was later…

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