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Man charged with trying to set two sleeping homeless men on fire in Downtown Crossing

An Arlington man had bail set at $30,000 at his arraignment today on charges of arson and attempted murder for an incident last October on West Street downtown, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

Matthew Cody, 30, was so intent on setting two sleeping homeless men on fire that he set a second fire when the first one went out, Assistant District Attorney David McGowan said in court today.

According to the DA's office, Cody had left his job at a downtown restaurant around 11 p.m. on Oct. 8 when he walked past two homeless men sleeping in an alcove at 41 West St.

He allegedly stopped a short distance away, retrieved a book from a recycling bin on the sidewalk, and walked back to the alcove.

Prosecutors say Cody placed the book on the ground close to the two sleeping men, set it on fire, and walked a short distance away. When the fire went out on its own, he allegedly returned and set it on fire again. This time, the fire took hold and spread to the cardboard used as a cushion by the two sleeping men and then the alcove in which they were situated.

An employee at a nearby youth services agency smelled smoke and went outside to investigate. He saw the fire, roused the two sleeping men, and tried to extinguish the spreading blaze with a trash barrel he filled with water. The Boston Fire Department estimated the cost of the fire damage at $18,000.

Prosecutors say surveillance video from nearby cameras led investigators to a nearby restaurant.

Investigators obtained a list of employees on duty that night and, from that list, identified Cody as a potential suspect. Three co-workers who looked at the videos identified the man shown on them as Cody, prosecutors say.

Innocent, etc.

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I mean, who gets off work and says "gee, I'd like to burn some random people to death"?

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back when you were in the service, did they give people personality tests to screen out these people?

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Not that I recall. ASVABs, yes, but that was about it.

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Back in the day (I'd like to assume) even Massachusetts would preemptively lock up nuts like him and throw away the key.

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Than the drunken Southie Trump fans who urinated on that poor guy? Hopefully the media will keep an eye on Mr. Cody's case.

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he tried to torch something, inanimate or otherwise.

30 years is a long time to not scratch that itch.

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Might be interesting to see how many pets have gone missing around this guy's neighborhood(s).

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"Than the drunken Southie Trump fans who urinated on that poor guy? "

Why do you never have the urinating guys around when some asshole lights your stuff on fire with you in it?

He's gonna get away with 99% of the shit that he did. Nail him on this one.

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It was a little more than urine raining down on the sleeping homeless guy. Try "blows with a metal pipe." The urine was just their special touch to show just how little respect they have for human life.

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Than the drunken Southie Trump fans who urinated on that poor guy? Hopefully the media will keep an eye on Mr. Cody's case.

Unfortunately, people like the drunken Southie Trump Fans and Mr. Cody are people who Trump appeals to.

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This was a subplot in the 1970s Burt Reynolds movie "The Fuzz" filmed in Boston.

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"Fuzz" is a great movie to see scenes of what Boston looked like in the early 70s. If you can pull your eyes away from Raquel Welch.

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Bob Ward reports. And if you scroll down past the comments, you'll see a photo of the suspect.

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Why does Arlington appear to be a nexus of angry, maladjusted guys?

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The naysayers were right - it destroyed the town.

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to broken Red Line trains, instead of having to take the 77/79 buses in order to access broken Red Line trains.

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Arraignment typically happens very close to time of arrest. For instance, local hero Ray Borque was arraigned on OUI charges over the weekend just yesterday. But this happened 8 months ago. Are Boston's courts backlogged that much?

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Arraignment follows arrest. It seems like this may have been a lengthy investigation. By the time they pulled the video spoke with witnesses and took out complaints. I don't see an arrest date stated in the summary. Only other thing I can think of is he was in for a psych eval. Actually Herald has him arrested on Monday, so the timeline makes sense. A Google search also indicates he (or someone with a smiliar name) has prior drug charges out of Arlington.

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When a suspect is arrested and charged in district court, the arraignment often happens shortly after the incident. In some cases, more investigation is required, and the case is presented to a Grand Jury. If the Grand Jury returns indictments, the case is then arraigned in Superior Court, as this one was. That process takes quite a bit longer than the district court arrest-to-arraignment process.

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I was thinking he was initially arrested back in October. I know that arraignment follows. It's just the formal citation of the charges they have moved to file.

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How can people do stuff like this and get away with it? It's just unreal!

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