What a doofus: Steven Lamotte, a Norwich, CT man was arrested for trying to set Norwich Hospital on fire. Yes, the entire hospital. Norwich Hospital was featured on the mid-season finale of “Ghost Hunters” in May. I found a somewhat ironic blurb about that (I have bolded the funny part):
Preston – The Norwich State Hospital is the focus of tonight’s Ghosthunters mid-season finale episode.
Preston Redevelopment Agency Chair Kent Borner said he hasn’t seen any of the footage, but it’s possible the team could have come across a “gaggle of ghosts.”
Members of the SyFi ghost hunting team were on the property for four nights in March.
“Quite a few million people will see this, any publicity is good publicity. You never know who’s sitting in front on their TV,” Borner said.
Oh, Mr. Borner, I think it’s safe to say now that literally ANY publicity is not necessarily good publicity.
So here’s the story of what happened at Norwich State recently:
Friends say Steven A. Lamotte was interested in the paranormal and had a fascination with fire, according to police reports.
The 23-year-old former Norwich man, with a last known address in New Britain, was ordered held on $150,000 bond Tuesday at his arraignment in Norwich Superior Court on charges he set a fire to a building at the former Norwich Hospital property in Preston. It is a site visited in the past by so-called ghost hunters.
Lamotte was the latest in a string of arrests for a Norwich arson squad investigating suspicious fires at unoccupied buildings in the area. Newly released police reports show Lamotte may not have been alone.
Kevin Walker, another former Norwich man and a suspect in several arsons that include the April 27 blaze at Capehart Mill in Norwich, admitted he was there when Lamotte soaked some crunched up paper with gasoline and lit the paper on fire in the administration building of the sprawling former hospital property, police reports show.
Another suspected firestarter, Keith Mutch, of Norwich, told Norwich Police Officer Robert Smith that Walker told him he and Lamotte were “ghost hunting” at the time, police reports reveal.
During interviews with members of a Norwich arson squad, Lamotte’s ex-girlfriend, Brittany Sievers, said months after the fire she drove with Lamotte and Walker to the former Norwich Hospital building “because they were interested in the paranormal,” according to the arrest warrant affidavit in the case.
They toured the burned room and Sievers said Walker “was very excited and actually started running around the other rooms saying how they could light other rooms on fire,” police said.
With a field that is desperately trying to gain recognition and respect amongst the scientific and skeptical communities, a few stories like this one (and others of trespassing) that gain national attention really set things back. Thanks to all the losers out there who constantly ruin it for the rest of us.