Probable cause found to charge man who allegedly caused havoc on Pagan


Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho yesterday found probable cause to charge Crispin Fitipol Castro, a 38-year-old man accused of causing havoc on Pagan by setting on fire helicopter fuel tanks, shooting a radio communication system, breaking into the Northern Islands Mayor Jerome Aldan’s house with a sledge-hammer, and damaging the mayor’s vehicle.

At a preliminary hearing, Camacho found probable cause to believe that three counts of criminal mischief were committed.

Camacho ordered Castro to answer the charges.

The judge, however, said he heard the testimony of the witness and found no probable cause to believe that the crime of reckless burning was committed.

Camacho dismissed the reckless burning charge without prejudice.

Dismissal without prejudice means the prosecution can still re-open the charge.

Acting chief prosecutor Barbara Cepeda appeared for the government. Assistant public defender Tillman Clark served as counsel for Castro.

After the hearing, Camacho remanded Castro to the Department of Corrections. Arraignment will be on June 6 at 9am.

According to the information filed by Cepeda, Castro punctured the fuel tanks and set them on fire, causing them to explode and burn between April 11 and 15, 2016 on Pagan.

The defendant also allegedly smashed the front and rear windshields and windows of a 1990 Daihatsu Jeep owned by Francisco L. Kaipat.

Castro damaged the fuel tanks and radio used for communication. N Aldan and/or the Northern Island Mayor’s Office owned the property, according to court documents.

Castro also allegedly damaged the satellite dish and satellite servers belonging to the Homeland Security Emergency Management Office.

Police arrested Castro on Pagan last May 13.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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