Skip to main content

Homeless man charged with arson

  • Empty


Published January 21. 2019 11:45AM

A homeless man faces arson charges after fire broke out at a Lehighton home where he was trespassing early Saturday morning.

According to officials, a lit charcoal grill ignited the home while the suspect, Gary Sharp, was being interrogated at the police department.

According to an affidavit of probable cause filed by patrolman Bruce Broyles of the Lehighton Borough Police Department:

Police were dispatched to the 200 block of North Third Street at 3:45 a.m. Saturday for a report of a suspicious person on the porch.

Broyles heard movement on the porch and called out to the man, who identified himself as Sharp. Sharp, 43, said he was permitted to be at the residence.

Broyles asked where the owner was and Sharp said she was in the hospital, but she was allowing him to stay at the home.

Sharp told Broyles he was locked out of the house.

Broyles saw several white waxine bags lying on the porch that possessed the stamp “diesel,” which is known to contain heroin and/or fentanyl.

Sharp admitted the bags were his and he was taken into custody. He had several more of the waxine bags in his jacket pocket.

While escorting Sharp to the police vehicle, Broyles saw an uncapped hypodermic needle lying at the bottom of the porch steps.

Broyles asked Sharp about the needle, but he denied that it belonged to him.

A window to the house was open. Broyles also noticed a torn screen on the screen door.

Broyles could smell the odor of lighter fluid in the area, and he asked Sharp about it. Sharp said he was trying to heat his hands and a piece of pizza by lighting a charcoal grill on the porch.

Sharp was taken to the borough police department, where he showed police text messages from the property owner that said he was no longer permitted to stay on her property.

Police contacted the woman, who was at St. Luke’s Hospital in Lehighton, and she said Sharp was not permitted on the property.

He admitted going into the residence by the open window.

While Sharp was in custody at the borough police department, the residence became fully engulfed in flames and sustained significant damage.

A fire marshal was called to the scene and determined the fire originated on the porch and spread to the home.

The fire marshal determined the cause to be a result of the use of a charcoal grill.

Sharp faces charges of criminal trespass; arson, endangering property; unlawful possession of a controlled substance; and possession of drug paraphernalia.

He is currently incarcerated in the Carbon County Correctional Facility in lieu of $1 million, and is scheduled to have a preliminary hearing at 3 p.m. Jan. 30 before District Judge Eric M. Schrantz of Jim Thorpe.

Heroin needs to be stopped from entering. It's sad all those who are destroying their lives with this junk. Here's one less customer, another will take his place. Keep the junk flowing in Nancy and Chuck.
Instead of judging have you tried praying For him and his family because I promise he is God’s child. And I’m sure you have a family member to that is not perfect so don’t be judging or you will be judged by the man upstairs that was a very rude comment
If Deviant Republican Politicians stopped sacrificing us to big business for their own personal gain, there would be no epidemic! Republicans sold America to big Pharma.
Just a quick question. The article states the patrolman smelled lighter fluid and the suspect stated he was using a charcoal grill , why not investigate that situation before leaving the scene to prevent the unnessary fire and ensueing danger to the public as well as the firefighters ?
I agree with Bobby Davis why did the police officers leave the scene unattended and take him to interrogating him why not clean up the mess then take him that would have prevented someone’s home from burning down if they would have done their part I would really love to hear the explanation . I am his mother I know he needs help I’m from Louisiana and I cannot get to him but please pray that this charge will not stick he does need help and he Should stand liable for his consequences but not the arson charge please everyone support me in this he just needs a good rehab I love my son very much as I’m sure there’s a lot of people out there that Is going through the same thing. He needs prayers Not judgment-pleaseI am also sorry to hear about the young ladies home
Glenmora123, I agree.. I just said this to my bf before I read the comments, about this. That Arson charge should not be put on your son's record. I was thinking about doing a petition and take it to his court hearing.. I live about 15 mins away from Jim Thorpe, Pa. bc it is not your son's fault that after he was in custody. That the lady's house caught fire. Yes, he may need help for his addiction but the unnecessary charge of Arson is wrong, considering, the cop should have checked before leaving the residence, knowing he smelled the lighter fluid.
It should stick. Stop making excuses. If he wouldn’t have been where he wasn’t supposed to be in the first place it wouldn’t have happened. YOUR SON used the lighter fluid. YOUR SON broke the law. Did you always blame others for his actions?? Probably part of the problem here.
He did break the law. Do you have children so in your opinion the cops just left everything as it was to take him to jail and not secure the place down when they smelled lighter fluid that’s all I’m saying . And yes he does need to suffer the consequences and no I don’t take up for him he is my son and I was also married to a police officer for 35 years . I just think that they could have handled it a little different

Classified Ads

Event Calendar


August 2019


Upcoming Events

Twitter Feed