West Virginia man charged after drunk prank causes Ohio motel evacuation

West Virginia Headlines

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AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A motel full of guests was evacuated Saturday in Austintown after a man caused the fire alarm to go off.

According to police, 27-year-old Dalton Uphold, of West Virginia, is facing several charges after officers said he discharged a fire extinguisher in a hallway and inside his room, prompting the fire alarm to go off, which caused the building to be evacuated.

The incident happened about 2:40 a.m. Saturday. At the time, the motel on 76 Drive was fully booked.

Police said surveillance video shows Uphold stumbling down the hallway with another man and goes toward the fire extinguisher. The friend made a gesture to Uphold signaling him not to do it, according to the report, when Uphold grabbed the fire extinguisher and discharged it, causing the hallway to fill with a white powder.

Uphold then took the fire extinguisher into his room where it continued to be discharged, covering the entire room in white powder.

Officers located Uphold outside of the building where he appeared very intoxicated, they said. Reports said Uphold told them he was shooting the fire extinguisher at flames in the hallway. When asked where the flames were coming from, he said a microwave. Officers knew this to not be true because there are no microwaves in the hallway.

Police also seized a loaded gun and ammunition from Uphold’s room, which they said he admitted was his. The motel has a sign that says firearms are not permitted on the premises.

Uphold is facing several charges including inducing panic, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct.

He is scheduled to appear in court Aug. 9.

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