GARRETT SCHWARTZBERG, AGE 18. ADMITTED ARSONIST.
The Tulane University student pictured above admits to setting a dorm fire that could have killed hundreds of his fellow students. Jew Schwartzberg attends a university that is heavily Jewish. Many of those killed would have been Jews. Schwartzberg’s rabbi needs to give him a good dressing down.
No motive has been offered for why the fire was set, but the accused denies any harmful intent.
It’s hard to see anything other than harmful intent.
Does the Talmud allow Jews to lie?
Surveillance video captured Monday (Oct. 2) at a Tulane University dorm showed a man authorities have since identified as a freshman student who lived there start a small trash fire in the 6th floor lobby, Tulane police said.
Further review of footage showed the same student attempted earlier on Monday to “set a ceiling tile on fire” on the same floor of his dorm, the Sharp Hall Residential complex, a Tulane University Police Department detective wrote in a summary the case.
Garrett Schwartzberg, 18, was booked into the Orleans Justice Center jail Tuesday on suspicion of aggravated arson, his booking records show. Tulane spokesman Mike Strecker confirmed Schwartzberg is a freshman at the university. Strecker, citing student privacy laws, said the school could not comment whether any disciplinary action has been taken. His booking documents list Sharp Hall’s Freret Street address as his residence.
Orleans Parish Magistrate Commissioner Albert Thibodeaux on Tuesday set Schwartzberg’s bond at $25,000, court records show. As of Thursday morning, records showed the student had bonded out of jail. The Orleans Public Defender’s office represented him at his first appearance Tuesday. Private defense attorney Brian Capitelli represented him in a hearing Thursday afternoon.
“The charges for which my client was arrested do not in any way reflect the facts,” Capitelli said Thursday over the phone. “There was never any intent to harm anyone or cause any damage at any point in time.”
A statement sworn by Det. David Harris with Tulane police says when investigators identified Schwartzberg as the man who set the fires and located him, they read him his Miranda Rights and Schwartzberg “confessed to the attempt incident” and to the “second incident that resulted in the actual fire taking place.”
The trash fire was set in the “elevator lobby area” at Sharp Hall, 6401 Freret St., which the police report says houses 478 Tulane freshmen. Harris wrote the fire climbed up the wall, “causing scorch damage to it.”
The commissioner on Tuesday also ordered a stay-away order, though it was not immediately clear who the order bars Schwartzberg from contacting.
His next court hearing is set for Oct. 10.
Lawyer Capitelli, representing Schwartzberg, surely couldn’t have said what he said and keep a straight face. I guess the lawyer will next tell us that the accused merely wanted to roast marshmallows over a fire while singing Kumbayah with a group of his friends.