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Man gets 8 years for arsons at Beech Grove Amtrak facility, Greenwood apartments

A building at the Amtrak Beech Grove Maintenance Facility, 202 Garstang St., is shown on fire May 2, 2021. (Provided Photo/Indianapolis Fire Department via Twitter)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A Beech Grove man was sentenced to eight years in federal prison after pleading guilty to arson at the Beech Grove Amtrak facility and at apartments in Greenwood that were receiving federal assistance, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a Tuesday news release.

On the late night of May 1, 2021, Casey Sage, now 35, trespassed onto the grounds of the Amtrak Beech Grove Maintenance Facility, 202 Garstang St., and used a railroad flare to set two buildings on fire, according to the Department of Justice. The buildings and and their contents were destroyed. Video surveillance shows several explosions and flying debris as crews fight the flames.

Amtrak has estimated that the fires caused $1 million in damages.

Investigators also found that, a few weeks before the Amtrak fire, Sage entered his ex-girlfriend’s home in a Greenwood apartment complex that receives Section 8 funding through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sage intentionally started a fire in the master bedroom of the apartment. The fire eventually spread to most of the apartment before being extinguished.

The fire caused more than $100,000 in damage to the apartment building and $10,000 in property loss to the apartment tenant.

Federal authorities do not provide jail-booking photos of crime suspects.

Statements

“When Casey Sage committed his egregious act of arson in the City of Beech Grove, he intentionally put the lives of our public safety officers, Amtrak workers and countless community members at risk. Thanks to the dedicated collaboration among local, state and federal law enforcement partners, a dangerous criminal’s senseless acts in this city have come to an end.”

Beech Grove Mayor Dennis Buckley

“The arsons committed by the defendant were an outrageous course of conduct that endangered apartment complex residents and emergency personnel. I appreciate the hard work of investigators and prosecutors who came together across agencies to identify and vigorously prosecute the defendant, and the first responders who risk themselves to keep the public safe. The serious sentence imposed today demonstrates that those who commit arsons with utter disregard for the lives and safety of the public will be held accountable.”

Zachary A. Myers, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Indiana

“Today’s sentencing brings a successful end to a fast-paced, complex, and highly collaborative investigation that brought several agencies together with a common goal of safeguarding the community by taking a dangerous criminal off the streets. We not only appreciate the dedication of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and all of the agencies involved, but we are grateful for the support of members of the Beech Grove community in helping our team solve this crime.”

Basil Demczak, special agent in charge of the Amtrak Office of Inspector General Central Field Office

“The defendant risked the lives and safety of numerous people, at both the Amtrak facility and at a public housing development, in addition to causing over a million dollars in damages to federal and personal property. ATF will continue to work with our local, state, and federal partners to ensure that individuals who use violence to endanger our community pay the price for those actions.”

Daryl S. McCormick, special agent in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Columbus Field Division

“After the Beech Grove Fire Department successfully extinguished the arson fire, our department worked with local, state and federal authorities to develop evidence to lead to this guilty plea. Our Heavy Maintenance Facility employs almost 500 Amtrak employees and is a critical element to our national network, so protecting it and assisting in prosecution of those who would damage it is an important part of the department’s mission.”

Sam Dotson, Amtrak police chief

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