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Police: Gun-toting arson suspect nabbed in Poconos

By Will Lewis, Reporter, WLewis@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 23 2014 11:32:33 AM CDT
Updated On: Apr 24 2014 04:50:54 AM CDT

Police say a man set his apartment on fire Tuesday night and then took off, waving a gun.

STROUDSBURG, Pa. -

Police say a man set his apartment on fire Tuesday night and then took off, waving a gun.

Police finally caught up with him Wednesday afternoon.

Thomas Giarrizzo said he thought someone was after him.

Neighbors say the situation turned scary when Giarrizzo started pointing a gun in the hallway of his apartment.

Giarrizzo, Jr. didn't say much when coming out of court in Stroudsburg, Monroe County on Wednesday.

“No, no, no comment,” said Giarrizo.

Around 8 p.m. Tuesday, residents of the 1100 block of Main Street in Stroudsburg, said Giarrizzo was acting strangely.

“Said he was hearing voices outside, saying people were calling him a terrorist or something,” said Connie Armstrong.

“We’d actually received a call from Thomas here last night about two hours prior to the fire call complaining that he thought his neighbors were after him,” said Kenneth Nevil, corporal with the Stroud Area Regional Police Department.

After police left, neighbors say more weird stuff started happening.

“My mother opened the door and she said 'the hallway is filled with smoke and he has a gun,'” said Joshua Armstrong.

Court records say Giarrizzo pointed a gun towards his apartment door and said, "Stay inside, don't come out."

Then he left with a pillow case filled with belongings.

“It was unbelievable," said Joshua Armstrong. "Words can’t explain what the feelings were.”

After nearly 14 hours of searching by police someone spotted Giarrizzo.

“One of our off-duty officers, I believe Officer Brown, who was off-duty, spotted him at a bank up in Tannersville," added Nevil. "Notified the Pocono Township Police Department, who went there and placed him under arrest.”

Giarrizzo was arrested without incident and police say the investigation is ongoing.

“I have some suspicions that there might be some mental health issues based on the evidence that I have in front of me," said Nevil. "Very possible.”

Giarrizzo is facing arson, and recklessly endangering another person charges.

He is currently in the Monroe County Prison.