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Ex-Priest Goes to Jail For Trying to Set Two Casinos on Fire in Winnipeg

Mar 26, 2014

priest-jail-260314Priest jailed

Former minister made an attempt to burn down two casinos in Winnipeg after he lost $600 in 22 minutes.

Doug Porisky made it into the casino gambling news when he pleaded guilty for six deliberate fire attempts. He was charged with six counts of arson – “disregard for human life”, and six counts of arson – “damage of property”.

Porisky was also charged with “mischief over $5,000” and was sentenced to 3 months in jail and 18 months supervised probation. The damage from the fires itself was estimated at a total of $1,600.

Porisky explained in the courtroom that had just lost $600 at Club Regent Casino on 25th February 2012. He got extremely frustrated and tried to set two slot machines and one chair on fire, without any actual success.

He managed to set a garbage can on fire, but the situation was taken under control quickly by the casino employees. Porisky also caused damages for $6,400 to a giant aquarium and a touch screen display, which was nearby.

Second attempt

A week after the first incident, Porisky went to McPhillips Street Station Casino and this time set two bathrooms on fire, on 2nd March 2012. Luckily, the situation was overcome thanks to a security guard and a customer. Porisky also tried unsuccessfully to ignite one blackjack table and a silk plant.

He was identified one day after the last fire, when arson investigators began checking all the evidence, and with the support of Manitoba Lotteries’ investigators managed to find out who the person was.

Judge Janice leMaistre commented: “Mr. Porisky’s actions appear to be more a cry for help than a deliberate attempt to burn down the casinos and cause harm to the people within the buildings.”

She added that Porisky didn’t try to hide his actions nor did he make any attempt to cover up his identity in front of the security cameras.

At the time of these incidents he was a coordinator of spiritual care at Deer Lodge and before that he was a chaplain at Grace Hospital.

Model citizen

Judge leMaistre explained further that after his arrest, Porisky started his sessions with a psychiatrist and later on he was diagnosed with a personality disorder. His condition was characterized by “self-damaging and impulsive behavior”, which in the case of the incidents was clearly triggered by his unsuccessful casino strategy.

Currently, he has spent the last two years after the fire attempts on bail and didn’t have a single incident. He is also attending on a regular basis the mettings of “Bettors Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous.”

Judge leMaistre added: “There is really nothing more he could have done to achieve rehabilitation.” She ordered that Porisky was not allowed to go to any casino premises during his probation period and he also wasn’t allowed to have any lighters, matches or any other incendiary materials.


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