Charred mail has been found inside a USPS mailbox steps away from a ballot dropbox that was set ablaze early Sunday morning, but police said it’s “too early to tell” if the arson attacks on the mail and ballot boxes are connected.
Worldy Armand was arraigned and held without bail on a charge of willful and malicious burning in Boston Municipal Court on Monday, according to court records. Armand is due back in court on Friday for a detention hearing.
Armand has not been charged in connection with the second mail attack, Sgt. John Boyle said.
U.S. Postal Service workers reported the damaged mail “that possibly could have been burnt” just after 5 p.m. on Monday, Boyle said. The mailbox was last checked sometime on Saturday, he said.
“It’s too early to tell if they’re connected,” Boyle said of the Sunday attack on the ballot dropbox.
Secretary of State William Galvin and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh decried the ballot dropbox attack as a “disgrace to democracy” and “a disrespect to the voters” and the FBI came in to assist in the investigation. But speaking outside of Roxbury courthouse on Monday morning following an unrelated arraignment, Rollins called Armand “an emotionally disturbed individual” and suggested he wasn’t fit to stand before a judge.
“I do not believe this individual is plotting against our democracy,” Rollins said.
At least 35 of the 122 ballots in the box were destroyed when firefighters inserted a fire hose inside the box to quench the flames just after 4 a.m. Sunday, according to Walsh’s office.
Rollins said the incident underscores the need to “be concerned” about security around the ballot dropboxes and warned anyone caught interfering with voting rights would be prosecuted.
Walsh said in a statement, “Voters can be assured that our first and foremost priority is maintaining the integrity of our elections process.
The mayor thanked the Boston Police Department for its “swift action” in arresting a suspect within 24 hours of the incident.
The city is encouraging any Boston voter who deposited their ballot at the Copley Square dropbox between 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24 and about 4 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 25, to check the status of their ballot by calling 617-635-2211.