Court case

SWANZEY — Town police say a Keene man lit the inside of a cruiser on fire after his arrest this summer, damaging the vehicle.

Corey Carpenter, 33, was indicted recently in Cheshire County Superior Court on charges of criminal mischief and reckless conduct, both felonies, in connection with the incident. He is also charged with arson, a felony, and multiple misdemeanors, according to court records.

In an affidavit filed with the court, Swanzey police Officer Colby Zilinski said the incident occurred July 13 after he’d responded to a report of reckless driving by two vehicles on Monadnock Highway (Route 12) that evening. The vehicles were reportedly passing several others at high speeds while in no-passing zones and when it was unsafe to do so, Zilinski wrote.

Zilinski identified Carpenter as having driven one of the vehicles, based on witness accounts, and found him at a Monadnock Highway business where that car was parked, according to the affidavit. Carpenter, who is homeless, appeared to be intoxicated and had a suspended license, Zilinski wrote.

He arrested Carpenter on charges of driving under the influence and driving with a suspended license.

While inside the police cruiser, Carpenter “began to yell and thrash around” and started kicking the partition between the front and back seats, according to Zilinski. When the cruiser arrived at the Cheshire County jail in Keene, Carpenter used a lighter to set the partition’s foam padding on fire, Zilinski wrote.

The fire was extinguished there after it damaged the cruiser’s interior, Zilinski wrote.

The affidavit does not indicate the extent of the damage or whether Zilinski suffered any injuries. Swanzey police could not be reached Monday or Tuesday morning for more information.

Carpenter was released from the jail in July, but his location is being monitored electronically, according to facility staff. He is scheduled to be arraigned on the criminal mischief and reckless conduct charges later this month, court records show.

Caleb Symons can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1420, or Follow him on Twitter @CalebSymonsKS.