Man goes on arson spree during Port Fish Day

  • Play

Video by

Man goes on arson spree during Port Fish Day

By Katie Crowther. CREATED Jul 25, 2014

PORT WASHINGTON -- A man goes on a dangerous arson spree in Port Washington. Matt Gleissner, 23, is charged with setting at least five different fires on the night of the city's popular Fish Day.

Surveillance video caught the intense flames coming from a trash bin outside an Ozaukee County Administration building. Just a half hour before, the camera caught a man approaching the bin, checking to see if anyone was around, then lighting it on fire. Police say it was Gleissner.

"Why would someone try to ruin an event, or a town like this in that way?" questions Dan Mehring.

Mehring is one of many people in Port Washington who's shocked that anyone would purposely do that.

Tanya Ayala manages Schooner Pub and Grill, where Gleissner's trouble with fire started. Earlier in the night, he was kicked out for throwing lighted cigarettes at people from an elevated deck.

"He was really bothering people," Ayala says. "One of our bouncers told him he was done, and to get out. That's when the police got involved and they took him out of here."

But Gleissner didn't stay out for long.

"Somehow he got back in and police came in to do the random bar checks that they do, and they saw him again and told him he couldn't go in any of the taverns in Port Washington," Ayala says.

Police say Gleissner went on to light multiple trash bin fires, even set a boat on fire, and tried to burn several cars in the area. When questioned about it, he said he didn't remember anything.

Luckily no one was hurt. Gleissner is being held in the Ozaukee County Jail. He has a hearing next week.

Katie Crowther

Katie Crowther

Katie Crowther was born and raised the suburbs of Detroit. She attended John Carroll University, and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.