FAIRFIELD, Conn. - A former Fairfield resident was charged in connection with a 2012 arson as well as with possession of marijuana and a knife after officers found him asleep in a running car Saturday morning, police said.
Officers saw Eric Meindl, 24, asleep in the back seat of a car with Tennessee license plates at Tunxis Hill Park with the engine running, according to the report. After the occupants were awakened, officers asked for identification and Meindl said he had lost his, police said.
His identification was later located under the front passenger seat, police said. In a pat down of the two men in the car, officers found a double-edged Dirk knife in Meindl's possession, police said.
In the trunk, officers found a vaporizer and other items in a plastic bag along with a small amount of marijuana, police said. The officers called for the K-9 unit, and Ruger alerted to the car allowing for a thorough search of the vehicle, police said.
During the search, two active warrants were found for Meindl's arrest in Fairfield. One warrant was on a charge of third-degree arson and another on failure to appear in court, police said.
In the arson case, a burning car was reported in the driveway of Meindl's mother's house on Mellville Avenue on Nov. 20, 2012, police said.
Firefighters extinguished the flames in the front passenger seat, police said. An investigation found that the car had been registered to Meindl and that Zippo lighter fluid cans were found near the car, matching the fluid used to start the fire, police said.
At the time, Meindl's mother told officers that after he had been arrested in a fight the previous night, she had evicted him from the house, police said.
Also, on Nov. 19, Meindl had been arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and criminal mischief after he attempted to kick in his mother's door, police said. He was issued a court date for Nov. 20 but did not appear, police said.
Police charged Meindl in the March 22 incident with possession of less than a half ounce of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, weapons in a car and carrying a dangerous weapon. He was held on $5,000 bond.
In the November 2012 incident, he was charged with third-degree arson and was held on $10,000 bond. He was also held on $1,000 bond on the charge of failure to appear.
Meindl is due in court for all the charges on April 1.
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