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Man faces felony charges for alleged threats to burn down Lancaster police station

A Lancaster man suspected of making threats Sunday to burn down the Lancaster city police station was charged with three felonies after a traffic stop Thursday morning, city police said.

The driver, Gerald N. Grauert, 35, was taken into custody shortly after 8 a.m. in the 800 block of East King Street, police said.

He was charged with three felony counts of criminal solicitation for arson, rioting and institutional vandalism, according to online court dockets.

After a police dog trained to detect odors associated with explosives indicated the presence of an odor in Grauert's Honda civic, state police explosive specialists were called to the scene.

Lt. Bill Hickey, city police spokesperson, said Grauert is suspected of approaching people in cars participating in Sunday afternoon’s protest caravan in Lancaster city and telling them he was going to burn down the police station that night.

He asked protesters to bring gasoline or other flammable items and join him at 9 p.m. that night to set the building on fire. Protesters provided police with a description of the man, but he was not found.

Some protesters photographed the man and put the photos on social media, Hickey said. Someone who knew Grauert told investigators the man in a photo looked like him.

Grauert was in Lancaster County Prison after failing to post $500,000 bond, police said.

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Lt. Bill Hickey, Lancaster city police spokesperson, speaks to the news media June 4, 2020, about the arrest of Gerald Grauert in the 800 block of East King Street.

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