Homeless man will not face criminal charges for making threats

Scott D. Gioia wanted to talk to mayor about resources for the homeless

No criminal charge will be filed against a homeless man who was accused of telling a city of Washougal employee he was going to “burn city hall down.”

Scott D. Gioia, 38, was arrested by a Washougal police officer for threatening to bomb or injure property July 14.

He allegedly made the statement about City Hall 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 was 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.

That same day, a small fire was found in the bark dust outside of City Hall. Its origin was undetermined.

Gioia admitted he had placed the fireworks bundle outside City Hall, 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.”

Washougal Assistant City Attorney Scott Russon said the prosecutors declined to prosecute Gioia.

“It was based on a potential bomb threat from leaving a box of fireworks out,” Russon said. “They were used fireworks, from my understanding.”

The case was then referred to Russon, to consider if there were any misdemeanor charges.

“There’s really not a bomb threat misdemeanor charge out there,” he said. “Nothing else really fit.”

At the time of Gioia’s arrest, he had been unemployed for one month and homeless for two weeks, according to a Clark County Corrections report.