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Man charged with setting Copley Square ballot box on fire faces similar charge in Malden, DA says

Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins said Worldy Armand had no political motive in setting a Copley Square ballot drop box on fire, but her office will seek to have him detained behind bars as a danger to society at a hearing on Friday.

In a statement this morning, Rollins said:

Although this individual appears to be emotionally disturbed without a deliberate or specific intent to intimidate or interfere with the voting process, the ability to vote without interference is central to our democracy. No matter the intent of Armand when he set fire to these ballots, his actions strike a nerve in our society at a time of nearly unprecedented political divisiveness. The destruction of ballots is simply unacceptable

Armand was arrested Sunday night in Copley Square, several hours after the drop box outside the entrance to the Copley Square library on Boylston Street was set on fire. He was wearing "the same distinctive clothing" as seen on the arsonist in surveillance video, the DA's office reports.

The DA's office reports Armand was already wanted on two warrants, including one for willful and malicious burning for a similar incident in Malden, and for receiving stolen property out of Ipswich.

At a hearing on Friday, Boston Municipal Court Judge Mark Summerville will determine whether Armand can be held without bail for 60 days. The DA's office reports that Summerville declined to send Armand to Bridgewater for an evaluation yesterday after Armand refused to speak to a court clinician before his arraignment. Summerville ordered Armand held without bail until at least the dangerousness hearing on Friday.

Innocent, etc.

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Did it involve a ballot drop box, a US mailbox, or something else?

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Voting closed 23

According to a story on WCVB, he was arrested for setting a fire outside a motel. Don't think it involved a ballot or mail box, just similar in that it was also arson.

Source: https://www.wcvb.com/article/12-year-old-runs-fallen-hero-honoring/34482117

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Voting closed 12

Maybe this Malden police blotter item from 2008 isn’t very insightful without context, but the postal similarity is interesting. I don’t know whether the alleged crime was committed at the post office or if that just happens to be where authorities caught up with Armand. This does not seem to be the Malden burning incident that Adam refers to above.

Monday, Dec. 24

At 7:34 a.m., Worldy Armand, 26, of 68 Washington St., was arrested at the United States Post Office, 109 Mountain Ave., on charges of assault with a dangerous weapon, intimidating a witness, larceny over $250, malicious destruction of property over $250 and possession of an illegal knife.

https://malden.wickedlocal.com/article/20080103/NEWS/301039089

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Voting closed 15

There are people -- like this guy, or like the "tree ninja" -- who need to be treated with compassion but who need to be behind bars, not because they are bad people, not to punish them, but simply because we don't have any better idea how to limit their negative effect on the rest of us other than by placing a secure physical barrier between them and the rest of us.

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Voting closed 37

So a guy who sets pieces on paper on fire or hacks away at trees needs to be locked up for life, but a low-life who peddles what's essentially a chemical weapon that kills and injures millions every year should be out on bail, and should not face jail time at all because drug dealing is a victimless crime?

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Voting closed 22

They need to be treated for their mental illnesses (possibly compelled to do so if necessary) such that they are not a threat to society or to themselves.

The real problem is that we have been substituting "behind bars" for medically necessary care for far too long. People in prison have also been denied the care that they need for far too long. The answer isn't to submit to your "behind bars" framing, but to fix the problems with mental health care supply and access.

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Voting closed 30

Seems like a bit of a leap of faith to declare he’s not a bad person at this point.

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Voting closed 19

so I don't think "behind bars" is going to cut it as a compassionate option.

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Voting closed 10

What is supposed to be done with people who set fires, rob, assault, murder, or get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle after having too much alcohol, are involved in accidents and end up killing and/or permanently maiming other people. Think about that!

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Voting closed 12