Pittsfield man held in alleged arson, bomb threat at Canyon Ranch

Saturday August 11, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- The suspect in an arson fire and a separate bomb threat at the Canyon Ranch resort in Lenox is being held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing on Monday at Southern Berkshire District Court in Great Barrington.

Miles M. Arnspiger, 23, of South Merriam Street, Pittsfield, was arrested by Lenox Police on Friday morning on charges of setting a fire and threatening to blow up the high-end resort where he was employed as a security guard.

He appeared later in the day before Judge Rita S. Koenigs at Central Berkshire District Court in Pittsfield.

Arnspiger faces two felony counts after police and fire units responded to a report of a wood shed ablaze on the property just before 2 a.m. on Thursday. The fire was quickly extinguished by Canyon Ranch security assisted by Lenox Fire Depart ment personnel, according to a report by Police Chief Stephen O’Brien.

The fire, spotted by a contractor working overnight at the resort, torched the front and roof of the shed used to store cord wood for the winter, the police report stated.

Responding to the scene, Lenox Police Officer Paul Duval encountered Arns piger, who had helped put out the fire and then told the officer that he had seen three youths in the vicinity of the shed just before the blaze.

According to O’Brien, Duval had previously responded to a report of a bomb threat at the resort on May 19, at which time Arnspiger handed the officer a written note threatening to blow up Canyon Ranch.

"We now know he wrote the note and we know he started the fire," the police chief stated.

O’Brien credited Officer William DeSan tis, who interviewed the suspect at the police station for well over an hour on Friday morning, for a successful investigation.

Arnspiger is being charged with setting the fire and with reporting a false bomb threat. He has been a volunteer firefighter in a neighboring community, O’Brien said.

To contact Clarence Fanto:
or (413) 496-6247
On Twitter: @BE_cfanto


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