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Police: Hartford-area man torches store for insurance, claims hate crime

February 16, 2017, Newtown, CT — A liquor store owner has been charged with setting fire to his business and then fabricating an armed robbery and vandalism, police said Thursday.

Scott Young, 39, of Southington allegedly set fire to Rooster Wines and Liquors at 113 S. Main Street on Jan. 21, then "used racial epithets and symbolism to cover up" the arson, police said in a news release.

He was charged with first-degree arson, insurance fraud, first-degree criminal mischief, three counts of first-degree reckless endangerment, second-degree providing a false statement and interfering with an officer, according to Newtown police.

After the incident, several news agencies reported that the owner told police two white men robbed him at gunpoint and started the fire before running out the back of the store. The owner reportedly told police he had to break a window to escape the building, WTNH said.

Police also found a racial slur and two swastikas painted on the rear door of the building, markings the owner blamed on the "robbers," according to the report.

"Such an incident unnerves the community and we are thankful we could bring the incident to a successful resolution and put everyone's concern at ease," Chief James Viadero said.

Bail was set at $100,000.

Source: Hartford Courant

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