A man allegedly attacked an officer with scissors, lit his apartment on fire and refused to leave the building, prompting a standoff with police overnight in Worcester, Massachusetts.
The triple-decker apartment building, located at 6 Moen Street, was charred and damaged after the fire broke out around 12:30 a.m. Monday.
Luis Ramirez, 25, was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, four counts of attempted murder and arson.
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Bernard Jones, who lives on the top floor of the building, told NBC10 Boston that the fire started after an argument between police and Ramirez, who lives on the second floor.
"I heard banging, the next thing you know I look outside, the cops are chasing my neighbor around, he went in the house, next thing you know, the house is on fire," Jones said.
The mother of Ramirez told NBC10 Boston that her son suffers from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. She said she called for police and an ambulance because Ramirez was having a mental health breakdown.
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When police arrived at the apartment building, they found a woman in the driveway who said Ramirez was breaking things.
Ramirez then came out of the apartment, crossed the street and open and shut the passenger door of a vehicle. Police tried to speak with Ramirez as he walked toward them. Ramirez then walked up to an officer and abruptly swung scissors toward the officer, police said. The scissors grazed the officer’s face. The officer called for backup as Ramirez re-entered the apartment.
Ramirez barricaded himself in the apartment. A short time later, officers who were standing at the rear door could smell smoke coming from the apartment and could see it coming from under the door.
The Worcester Fire Department was called to the scene and police evacuated all residents on the other floors. Officers and firefighters tried to help Ramirez out of the apartment but he refused to leave and threatened them, police said.
The Worcester Fire Department was able to extinguish the fire. Ramirez was still inside the apartment refusing to exit. Officers were eventually able to convince him to drop the scissors and come out. He was escorted out of the building and was taken to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.
The mother said Ramirez, after setting the fire, tried to save his family pets and other belongings before walking out of the building.
The man who lives on top floor said a total of nine people live in the building and that residents were trying to salvage their belongings. The Red Cross of Massachusetts was on scene.
No further information was immediately available.