The man accused of trying to burn down the RCMP detachment in Osoyoos was found not criminally responsible on Thursday, but will still remain detained.
In Penticton provincial court, a judge said Joseph Manuel McArthur-Pereira was not criminally responsible by way of a mental disorder in the July 25th incident.
On that day, police say two officers were in the Osoyoos detachment, at approximately 9:30 p.m., when they thought they smelled smoke. They went outside and found the main entrance and front wall of the detachment on fire.
According to police, an unknown suspect had used gas to spark the fire. However, a passerby was battling the blaze with water from his RV.
While the officers were outside, police said “a male returned with flammable items, presumably to add to the fire. The male was recognized from several recent dealings and was then immediately arrested.”
WATCH BELOW (Aired July 29, 2019): CCTV footage of alleged arson fire at Osoyoos RCMP detachment
The building sustained minimal damage, though police said the potential for serious damage and injuries was significant.
McArthur-Pereira, of Osoyoos, was arrested and was charged with arson endangering life and mischief causing danger to life.
The defence said McArthur-Pereira believed people died at the hands of RCMP and the only way to set them free was to burn down the police detachment. He saw “absolutely nothing wrong” with what he was doing, defence lawyer James Pennington told the court.
WATCH BELOW (Aired July 6, 2018): Police: 29 fires in Okanagan over last 4 years were deliberately set
While McArthur-Pereira was found not criminally responsible, the judge denied the defence’s application for bail.
McArthur-Pereira will be detained in custody and the B.C. mental health review board will determine when he should be released, and under what conditions.