Scotia

Police: Man charged with arson in Scotia martial arts academy fire; Previously charged related to business

Jaheal J. Austin (Inset Left) - Credit: Scotia Police Department; Authorities at the scene Jan. 12 with an item in the foreground. A portion of the visible note (Inset Right)
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Jaheal J. Austin (Inset Left) - Credit: Scotia Police Department; Authorities at the scene Jan. 12 with an item in the foreground. A portion of the visible note (Inset Right)

SCOTIA – A man with a history of being charged connected to a Scotia martial arts academy has been charged in connection with an arson there last week, police said Monday.

Jaheal J. Austin, age and residence unavailable, was charged Thursday with one count each of third-degree arson and third-degree criminal mischief, felonies.

Austin is accused of setting a fire at Team Jucao Brazilian Jiu Jitsu on Mohawk Avenue Wednesday night, police said. Firefighters put the fire out within minutes and it caused minimal damage, fire officials said.

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But investigators also found an item which had been set on fire, Police Chief Daniel Harrigan said Thursday. He declined to describe the item further then, citing the ongoing investigation, other than to say it wasn’t a bomb.

A note, visible at the scene, appeared to read in part “This isn’t over.”

A release Monday did not describe the incident further.

Police, however, noted they had arrested Austin twice before related to the business.

He was charged in September with third-degree burglary and second-degree criminal mischief, felonies, along with third-degree criminal tampering, a misdemeanor.

Then, in November, police accuse him with second-degree menacing, a misdemeanor, police said. Police initially indicated Austin was already charged in the November incident, but later indicated that the charge has not yet been filed, but he is expected to be charged.

Further information on the previous allegations was not available Monday evening. Austin’s status was also unavailable.

Updated 1/18/22 4:42 p.m.

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Categories: News, Schenectady County, Scotia Glenville

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