A homeless man is facing a charge of making a bomb threat, including communication, in Washougal City Hall.
Scott Daniel Gioia, 38, is accused of telling a city employee on July 14, he was going to “burn city hall down.” The statement was allegedly made after he asked to see Mayor Sean Guard to talk about his feelings on the availability of help and resources for the local transient population.
Gioia reportedly told the city employee he was “tired of having to steal food and socks.”
“If the city burns down tonight, blame it on me,” he allegedly said.
Guard was not in City Hall during that time.
Gioia is accused of placing a suspicious item near City Hall, 1701 “C” St., on July 13. It turned out to be expended fireworks wrapped in firework safety flyers that had been distributed by the Camas-Washougal Fire Marshal’s Office.
Also on July 13, a small fire was found in the bark dust outside of City Hall. Its origin was undetermined.
After Gioia was located walking away from City Hall July 14, the city employee/witness positively identified him as the person who said he was going to burn down City Hall.
A Washougal Police Department report said Gioia admitted he had placed the fireworks bundle outside City Hall the day before, but he denied setting the small fire. He also denied making the statement that he was going to burn down city hall.
Gioia admitted telling the city employee, “if the city burns tonight, blame it on me.”
He was arrested by a WPD officer for threatening to bomb or injure property July 14, at 10:33 a.m., on the 2400 block of Main Street.
Gioia has been unemployed for one month and homeless for two weeks, according to a Clark County Corrections report. His previous address is listed as 3500 Index St., Washougal.
Gioia is in Clark County Jail. His bail is set at $5,000.
Gioia’s arraignment in Superior Court is scheduled for Friday, at 1:30 p.m., in front of Judge Daniel Stahnke.
Gioia is represented by court-appointed attorney Robert Vukanovich. Meaghan McCredie, a deputy prosecuting attorney, is reviewing the charge.
Gioia is facing an unrelated charge of reckless driving in Skamania County, with an Aug. 1 court date.
In July 2013, he was arrested by a Washougal Police officer for fourth-degree assault/domestic violence. In June 2003, he was arrested by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office for possession of marijuana.