On Saturday 1/11/2020 at approximately 2:05 AM, the Carlisle Police and Fire Departments responded to Little Caesars Pizza for a reported dumpster fire that was discovered by State Troopers in the area. While on scene, officers discovered an additional fire that was set on a concrete landing in a walkway nearby of the same business complex. At approximately 2:22 AM, an additional fire was reported at the Pennsylvania Counseling Services, located at the intersection of Greystone Rd and E High St. Carlisle Police, State Troopers and North Middleton Township Police responded and found that several large plastic recycling containers were on fire next to the building. The fire had spread and caused damage to the structure. Efforts from officers and responding Fire Departments were able to contain the fire to the exterior of the structure.
The arson investigation conducted by the detective division of the Carlisle Police, determined that these fires were intentionally set. A third, intentional attempt to start a fire was later discovered at Hoffman Funeral Home and Crematory, located at 2020 W Trindle Rd. An attempt was made to set fire to one of the vehicles owned by Hoffman. Pieces of an American flag were placed into the fuel opening of the vehicle and set on fire. The fire did not spread to the fuel tank.
During the investigation, surveillance video was obtained from these businesses which established a suspect description. At approximately 10:34 AM, the suspect was seen walking in the area of Hoffman Funeral Home. Carlisle Police officers were able to locate the suspect and identify him as John Petonyak II. Petonyak was taken into custody and later admitted to investigators that he set the fires. The Carlisle Police are handling the investigation with assistance from North Middleton Township Police. Petonyak has been charged with multiple counts relating to Arson.