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Security video captured man lighting door on fire at Bernie Sanders' office in Vermont
Image Source: NBC News YouTube video screenshot composite

Security video captured man lighting door on fire at Bernie Sanders' office in Vermont

Police said they arrested a man with ties to California after security video captured someone spraying liquid on the front door of the office for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and lighting it on fire.

Federal prosecutors said that the video showed a man entering the building in Burlington, Vermont, on Friday and going up to the third floor where Sanders' offices are located. He doused the front door with a liquid and then lit it on fire with a handheld lighter.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said that the fire caused sprinklers to turn on, leading to fire and water damage. No one was hurt, and the workers inside the office were evacuated. Sanders was not in the offices at the time, and the man was able to flee from the building through a staircase.

Police later identified the man as 35-year-old Shant Soghomonian and arrested him on Sunday at the Inn at Burlington in South Burlington. A worker at the inn told police that the man had been living there for several weeks.

When police knocked on Soghomonian's door, they heard what sounded like heavy items being pushed against the door. They forced the door open after finding out it was blocked shut and then arrested the suspect without incident.

He was charged with using fire to damage a building used in interstate commerce. If convicted, Soghomonian faces a fine of up to $250,000 and 20 years in prison.

There was no indication of what Soghomonian's motivation might have been, but he had reportedly donated several times to Sanders' presidential campaign in 2020. Prosecutors said he had previously lived in Northridge, California.

Investigators said there was evidence that the alleged arson was “a potential planned act as opposed to a spontaneous incident.”

Sanders released a brief statement about the arrest.

“I am deeply grateful to the swift, professional, coordinated efforts of local, state, and federal law enforcement in response to the fire at my Vermont office on Friday,” the statement read. “I am also thankful that none of the many people who were in the office building at the time of the fire were injured.”

Soghomonian was held at the Northwest State Correctional Facility in St. Albans.

Here's a news report about the incident:

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Carlos Garcia

Carlos Garcia

Staff Writer

Carlos Garcia is a staff writer for Blaze News.