Man charged in Olbiston Apartment fire not the one who lit it

By JOLEEN FERRIS

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The person currently under arrest on arson charges in connection with the September 17 fire at Utica's Olbiston Apartment Complex is not the person police believe actually started the fire.

Robert Getty is accused of bringing a bag containing what police believe was gasoline into the building, and putting it down near the elevator shaft, which is where fire officials say the fire started.

A Utica Police investigator at Wednesday's felony hearing watched and narrated surveillance video from the fire.  

He pointed out Getty placing the bag near the elevator shaft, and then another, unidentified person carrying a burning piece of paper to the elevator shaft and using what police believe was the gasoline in the bag to ignite the fire.

The defense attorney pointed out that nowhere in the video does Getty actually look into the bag. Police say that during an interview with Getty, he initially denied knowing the contents, but then said he glanced in the bag and saw what appeared to be a 40oz bottle of beer.
     
The judge decided there was enough evidence to hold the case over for grand jury action and possible indictment, or, formal charge.  

Police are still trying to determine the identity of the person holding the burning paper in the surveillance video.

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