A Quincy man was charged Friday with a litany of crimes and held without bail after a bizarre series of events overnight that included an alleged scuffle with a local business owner and a fire started with a Molotov cocktail, officials said.
Dylan Handley, 27, faces charges of arson, assault and battery, defacing property, attempting to commit a crime, breaking and entering with intent to commit a felony, and two counts of lighting an incendiary device, Detective Sergeant Karyn Barkas, a Quincy police spokeswoman, said in an interview Monday.
Handley was arraigned Friday afternoon in Quincy District Court, where he pleaded not guilty and was held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing set for Wednesday, according to David Traub, a spokesman for Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey.
The initial call came in just before 2 a.m. Friday from a local business owner who reported a breaking and entering at 653 Washington St., Barkas said.
The address belongs to a commercial building that houses several businesses, just west of the Fore River Bridge.
Officers could smell smoke upon arrival and soon found “a completely melted trash barrel” in front of the building’s garage and a burning “Molotov cocktail device” nearby, which they were able to put out with fire extinguishers, Barkas said.
The business owner told police he had been moving a vehicle into the garage when a man he didn’t know, later identified as Handley, allegedly began yelling at him, according to Barkas.
The owner abruptly drove inside and attempted to shut the garage door behind him, but Handley allegedly got inside, opened the owner’s vehicle door, and began struggling with him, Barkas said.
Handley allegedly rolled out of the garage as the door came down and then left the scene, Barkas said. But within an hour, the owner saw a flash in a rear parking area and then the trash barrel engulfed in flames, Barkas said. He then called police.
Investigators examined surveillance video and identified Handley, who was known to local police, Barkas said. Officers visited South Shore Hospital early Friday morning, looking for people with injuries similar to those Handley would have sustained in the scuffle with the business owner, Barkas said, and were able to find Handley and take him into custody.