A 73-year-old Quincy man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of attempting to set fire to a tent on a beach with two people sleeping inside, authorities said.
At 6:11 a.m. Tuesday, police responded to the beach area behind 19 Chapel St. in Quincy, where Kevin Ryan, 32, and Wendy Fraser, 38, said they were sleeping in the tent when they awoke to the smell of gasoline, according to police Detective Sergeant Richard Tapper.
After exiting the tent, Ryan and Fraser said they saw a man pouring gasoline on it and trying to strike a match, at which point Ryan told the suspect that “you could have killed us,” Tapper said.
The suspect then chased the two victims down the beach with an aluminum bat, the detective said.
Officers found the suspect, Jack Aiguier, sitting on the deck of his house at 19 Chapel St. Ryan told police that he recognized Aiguier because he used to deliver newspapers to his home when he was growing up.
Aiguier pleaded not guilty in Quincy District Court on Tuesday to two counts of attempted arson of a dwelling house, assault with intent to murder, and assault with a dangerous weapon, said David Traub, a spokesman for the Norfolk district attorney’s office.
Natalie Corvington, his lawyer, could not be reached for comment.
Tapper said that police received a disturbance call July 2 of two males arguing on the same beach, and that there was a tent that looked similar to the one Aiguier allegedly attempted to set ablaze.
It is unclear what Aiguier’s motives were, Tapper said.
Traub said the court approved a dangerousness motion and that Aiguier is being held without bail until Thursday.
can be reached at