Man charged in lighting police cruiser on fire in PVD deemed ‘incompetent’

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — One of the two men accused of setting a Rhode Island police cruiser on fire last summer has been found not competent to stand trial for now, with a judge recommending Friday that he be treated at a hospital.

Two mental health professionals found that Luis Joel Sierra, 35, was not able to participate in his defense based on interviews and a review of his mental health history, the Providence Journal reported.

Sierra has been charged with one count of attempted malicious destruction of a vehicle by fire after a cruiser was set alight outside the Providence Place mall during a violent night in June.

Both men were charged based in part on emails, telephone calls, text messages and video clips exchanged with others, prosecutors said.

Another man, Nicholas Scaglione, previously pleaded guilty to the same charge in March but has not yet been sentenced. The 31-year-old from Cranston could face up to 20 years in prison.

The violence came amid nationwide protests after George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police, but Rhode Island authorities say the people in the crowd were not protesters but a destructive and violent “mob.”

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