SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Two of the three people arrested in connection with last month’s devastating fire at the Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons field house in October were arraigned Friday morning.
The cost to replace the jerseys and equipment lost in the fire, and the field house itself is estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Schenectady Police Sergeant Dearing says it’s a good day, all thanks to some fantastic detective work. He says the department was able to develop a very strong case over the last few weeks.
Thursday night police finally executed a search warrant at a home on Cromer Avenue.
Police took 19-year-old Shameek McDuffie and 18-year-old Joseph Riordan into custody.
The two spent the night in city lock-up and were arraigned early Friday morning.
McDuffie was first up. The judge formally charged him with felony arson, felony burglary, criminal mischief, criminal trespass and petit larceny.
McDuffie is accused of breaking into both the Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons field house and concession stand in the early morning hours of October 21st.
The judge says he vandalized the property, stole some gift cards, and ultimately set the place on fire using an accelerant.
Joseph Riordan was next up in court. He’s facing all the same charges as McDuffie except for arson. He was the only one of the three to have an attorney present. His mother and father were also in the courtroom.
Sgt. Dearing, alum of the school himself told News10 he’s happy to know they’ve caught the alleged culprits.
“It was a great investigation by the department,” said Sgt. Dearing. “Obviously ATF was on scene the morning of the incident, and the Schenectady Fire Department. The task force that we have with those two agencies and our detectives did a great job here.”
The third suspect, Francis Civitello, is facing criminal mischief charges. He did not appear in court Friday morning, although it is not clear why.
The judge ordered that Riordan and McDuffie be held without bail. They are scheduled to be back in court Monday morning.