A man set fire to the back seat of a state police cruiser after being arrested on Monday. Donald Billow, 42, of Albany pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to felony charges of 1st-degree aggravated domestic assault with a weapon and obstruction of justice. Billow also pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges of unlawful mischief and drunken driving. Judge Lisa Warren set bail at $1,500 and conditions of release including release into the custody of a court-approved responsible adult or a residential treatment facility. Vermont State Police say in court documents that Billow was arrested at 5:26 p.m. at 62 Apple Drive in Craftsbury after reports that he had threatened a family and was trying to smash the windows of a parked car with the butt-end of a rifle. Billow was then placed in the back seat of a state police cruiser until troopers noticed something unusual. “Trooper Nathan Handy and I noticed a noise coming from the cruiser,” said Tpr. Gallup. “As we got closer, we saw smoke starting to come out of the back seat of the cruiser. We opened the back doors and noticed a fire burning in the back seat and large amounts of smoke inside. I removed Billow from the vehicle and Trooper Logan Miller extinguished the tire.” Police then reviewed the film from a cruiser camera and saw Billow leaning near the location where they believe the fire had started. Police say a possible arson charge is also pending against Billow and that it could be filed after a report is submitted by an arson investigator. Billow, who remains in pre-trial detention at Northern State Correctional Facility in Newport, faces a possible sentence on the current charges of over 22 years in prison and over $31,000 in fines.
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