Police: Fire god mascot set fire to float

Oct. 20, 2010 at 4:45 PM

CALIFORNIA, Pa., Oct. 20 (UPI) -- A Pennsylvania college student who portrays his school's fire god mascot is accused of setting a broken-down homecoming parade float ablaze, police said.

Investigators said James Schaffer, 20, was dressed in the costume of Vulcan, the mythical god of fire, for the California University of Pennsylvania homecoming parade and he set fire to a float that had broken down in the street once the parade was over, WTAE-TV, Pittsburgh, reported Wednesday.

Police said Schaffer was arrested and charged with arson.

A spokeswoman for the university said the student is undergoing an evaluation at a "medical facility."

"This young man is a well-known and well-liked member of the campus community. The university acknowledges the serious nature of the charges he is facing, but our immediate concern is for his health and well-being," the school said in a statement.

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