Woman charged with setting fire in police lobby


LEWISTON — A Bangor woman was arrested Friday, accused of setting a poster on fire in the lobby of the police station.

Patricia Ann Cox, 46, was charged with arson after she allegedly started the fire at about 7:45 a.m., destroying the poster and singeing a wall.

The reason she did it: Police say Cox wanted to get arrested to be closer to her boyfriend, who had been taken to the Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn the night before.

The drama began at about 9 p.m. Thursday when Allen R. Dunton, 58, was arrested in Lewiston and charged with driving while intoxicated and after having been declared a habitual offender.

Dunton and Cox live together at 22 Bolling Drive in Bangor, police said, and had come to Lewiston together sometime Thursday.

Hours after Dunton was jailed, police say Cox went into the station lobby, pulled out a lighter and set a poster on fire near the doors. The poster was a chart listing how often the most common crimes and accidents occur.

“The poster burned and singed the wall,” Lewiston police Lt. Mark Cornelio said.

Cox then left the lobby, Cornelio said.

By then, police had discovered the fire in their lobby. A review of security-camera footage showed Cox starting the small blaze before heading out the door, Cornelio said.

Police officers went searching for her and found Cox as she was leaving the county jail in Auburn where she had been trying to visit Dunton. Cornelio said Cox did not try to resist when police arrested her.

“Obviously, she wanted to go to jail, too,” he said.

She was charged with arson, a felony, and booked into the jail. She remained there Friday night, as did Dunton.

In Lewiston, the wall in the police lobby was stained by fire and smoke and will have to be repaired, Cornelio said. He did not believe anyone else was in the lobby when the fire started.

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