standing Stonington Police Department

STONINGTON — A resident of the Wayside Inn on Liberty Street is facing charges after the police said he defied a warning by emergency dispatchers and blew smoke at a fire detection system in order to set it off.

Stonington police said Robert Pacheco, 60, of 46 Liberty St., was charged Tuesday with fourth-degree criminal mischief. The system was already malfunctioning because of water damage, the police said.

The incident occurred shortly before 2 a.m., after police and firefighters responded to an alarm activation at the inn, the police said Wednesday. According to the police report, fire officials determined that the alarm was activated because Pacheco was using a second-floor bathroom that was supposed to be closed for repairs. As a result, the fire alarm system sustained water damage. The system remained functional, but officials told the residents, including Pacheco, that it would continue beeping until repairs were made the next day.

The police said Pacheco became irate at the noise a short time later and contacted emergency dispatchers in Rhode Island to demand that the system be fixed at once. He threatened to pull the alarm himself to force first responders to return if no one was sent. The dispatchers told him that he would be arrested if he activated the alarm under false pretenses.

Rather than heed the advice, the police said Pacheco waited for a few minutes and then went to the second floor and blew smoke directly into a fire detection device in order to trigger the system. He was issued a summons and is scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 5 in New London Superior Court.

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