Cranston Man to Plead Guilty to Torching Police Cruiser During June 2020 Riots


PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND – A Cranston man arrested for his alleged role in the torching of a Providence Police Department cruiser during the riots of 2020 is expected to plead guilty to a federal information charging him with malicious attempt to damage or destroy a vehicle, according to documents filed in federal court.

According to a plea agreement filed in U.S. District Court, Nicholas L. Scaglione, 31, will admit to igniting a Providence Police Department cruiser that was parked in downtown Providence as officers responded to a riot on June 2, 2020, announced Acting United States Attorney Richard B. Myrus, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division Joseph R. Bonavolonta, and Providence Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr.

According to information previously presented to the court, an FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, Providence Police, and United States Attorney’s Office investigation determined that Scaglione allegedly squirted a flammable liquid into the vehicle, causing a fire to intensify. The cruiser became fully engulfed and was destroyed.

According to court documents, Scaglione allegedly shared information with others about his role in the burning of the cruiser. Among text messages allegedly written by Scaglione is a text message where he wrote, “But that police cruiser that went up in flames last night can be replaced… I was pissed. I’ve been pissed. That was pent up years of rage and frustration with the way I’ve seen and been treated by police. That cop car can be replaced. People’s lives cannot… Then I go out fighting and standing up for s**t I believe in. Cuz I know for a fact if it was you or anyone else I was close to I’d burn the whole police force down and not even blink.”

The statements set forth in an information are merely allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Attempted malicious destruction of a vehicle by fire is punishable by a statutory penalty of up to twenty years in federal prison, with a mandatory minimum term of five years of imprisonment, and a term of supervised release of three years.

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The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul F. Daly, Jr.

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