Shots Fired at Police, ‘Booby Traps’ Found Inside Burning Home in Berwick

BERWICK -- A man from Berwick is accused of shooting at police, lighting his home on fire, and booby trapping his home.

Officers said they caught Barry Francioni in the backyard after he jumped out of a second story window.

As Francioni walked out of district court this afternoon, he used curse words at the Newswatch 16 camera. Minutes earlier, he told the judge he wanted to die today.

"Awful, awful. You know society, you hear this on TV every day, but it's just absolutely ridiculous. I mean what's going on?" Brian Pinterich of Berwick said.

Police said they were called to Francioni's house on LaSalle Street around 10 a.m. Friday because he was threatening his family and himself. Francioni said in court he had his family leave the house before police came to his home.

Police said Francioni started shooting at officers shortly after they arrived. In court, Francioni said, "I didn't try to shoot nobody."

Neighbors said this stretch of LaSalle Street used to be family-oriented.

"It brings me back to my childhood days, which were such great memories. Then things like today happen, and you just shake your head, you know? What's going on?" Pinterich said.

After that, police said Francioni set his home on fire and jumped out a second floor window. He was found and arrested in his backyard.

"That house was just up in flames. The flames must have been 15-20 feet over the roof," Neighbor Gary Pinterich said.

Fire crews were combing through the home for hours after police said firefighters found evidence of booby traps inside the home.

"There are some issues inside the home that we're finding, where the residence has been booby trapped. So, there's all kinds of extra precautions that our firefighters have to deal with currently," Berwick Police Chief Ken Strish said.

Francioni has been charged with aggravated assault, various arson charges, terroristic threats, and resisting arrest.

Neighbors said they were most shocked to hear police said their quiet neighbor had booby trapped his home. Police would not explain exactly what he did inside.

"It seems like you would only booby trap something where you don't want somebody to go," Gary Pinterich  said.

Francioni is currently at Columbia County Prison on a $500,000 dollar bail.

15 comments

      • i_see_creepers

        That’s the keyword..thorough..this is because the current system cannot seem to differentiate between the aunty bessies with depression and the adam lanzas of the world..

      • Huh?

        True Mike, just like the driver exam that everyone passes. Everyone is a safe driver, until they have an accident.

  • Lance

    What are they waiting for? Attempted assault on an officer with a deadly weapon, making terroristic threats against his family etc. Arson etc…. the police made one mistake. They shouldve used deadly force now a long trial with some slimy attorney that will plead insanity. And who will pay for all this the good people of pa.!!

    • Are you for real?

      Those of us who pay taxes. Have an IQ and are not suffering from a personality disorder which you seem to affected.

    • Warren Searfoss

      slimey lawyer? You do know everyone had a right to represented… even if they can not pay….you better hope you dont have to call on a slimey lawyer to protect you….. Lawyers have to follow the letter of the law and do a job to the best they can otherwise the client can claim bad representation and then will have another trial where he might or might not be found guilty or get a lighter sentence.. You have been watching too much Law and Order SUV

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