Man facing arson, assault charges after Civic Center attack, house fire

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Rochester Police say a Rochester man is facing multiple charges including assault and arson in connection to a series of attacks in the Civic Center parking garage, and a nearby house fire.

Police arrested 56-year-old Wondell Mitchell, who is homeless, on Thursday.

  • He’s first accused of setting fire to a home on Madison Street back on June 21. Everyone, including pets, was able to get out safely, but were displaced by the fire.
  • Then, on July 14, he is accused of beating a 24-year-old man in the Civic Center parking garage with a metal pole. The man, who was also homeless, lost part of his right ear and suffered multiple cuts and "deformities" to his arms.
  • Lastly, on July 28, police say he attacked another man who is homeless in the parking garage. Again, the victim was hit with a metal pole.

The final attack happened just days after News10NBC first brought you the story of how the county is working to increase safety measures inside the parking garage. The measures were taken on the heels of the first reported attack, and previous attacks.

The garage has been a spot for several people who are unhoused to seek shelter, and the Person-Centered Housing Options (PCHO) has been working with people living there to build a rapport and eventually convince them to take help.

As for, Mitchell he is facing a second-degree arson charge, and two counts of second-degree assault in connection with the parking lot beatings.

He was arraigned in Rochester City Court Friday morning and is scheduled to appear in court again next Tuesday morning.