NEWS RELEASE: University Police Make Arrest in Arson Case on SUNY Oneonta Campus

ONEONTA, NY —The New York State University Police at SUNY Oneonta made an arrest late Thursday night following several incidents of vandalism and arson on the SUNY Oneonta campus that evening.

Zachary A. Penzabene, 20, of Ravena, NY, was charged with three counts of arson in the fifth degree, and criminal mischief in the second degree. Charges are pending in both the City of Oneonta Court and the Town of Oneonta Court because part of the affected area is located within the town and part is located within the city.

Penzabene is not a SUNY Oneonta student.

The arrest is the result of a cooperative effort involving the New York State University Police at SUNY Oneonta, the Oneonta City Police Department, and the Oneonta City Fire Department’s arson investigation team.

At 11:40 p.m. Thursday, the University Police received a report of a man walking around the campus quad with a blow torch. Upon arriving at the scene, University Police contacted the Oneonta Fire Department, which extinguished several fires in the shrubbery surrounding two light poles at the track facility.

No one was hurt. Both light poles were scorched by the fires, and the college is still assessing the extent of the resulting electrical damage.

The suspect fled and was apprehended by University Police on campus. Additional charges are pending.

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