Sentencing for Cranston man accused of torching police cruiser postponed

Providence

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The sentencing of a Cranston man who pleaded guilty for his role in setting a Providence police cruiser ablaze during a riot downtown last June, was abruptly postponed Monday morning.

In a brief hearing via Zoom, U.S. District Judge Mary McElroy announced the sentencing would be moved to a later date after conferring with lawyers on both sides. A spokesperson for the court said in an email that the judge “needed some more information from the parties before proceeding.”

Nicholas L. Scaglione, 31, pleaded guilty to a federal charge of malicious destruction of a vehicle by fire back in March.

He faces a minimum of five years behind bars, to a maximum sentence of 20 years.

Scaglione admitted to climbing on top of a Providence police cruiser and trying to flip it on its side. Then, after Luis Joel Sierra, of Providence, ignited a fire using lighter fluid, Scaglione squirted flammable liquid into the vehicle, causing the fire to intensify. The cruiser was quickly engulfed in flames and destroyed.

According to court documents, Scaglione said he did so because of anger towards law enforcement and that he was willing to do it again.

A text message allegedly written by Scaglione, read:

“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 [expletive] 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.”

Scaglione will also be facing up to three years of supervised release.

Sierra was arrested on an arson charge and has pleaded not guilty.

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