A 35-year-old man suspected of setting a fire to a tent with two people sleeping inside was in custody Friday.
James Anthony Lawlor was arrested Thursday and was being held in lieu of $500,000 bail on charges of attempted murder and arson of an inhabited structure, among other charges. He will make his first court appearance Friday at the Central Jail Court in Santa Ana, according to online inmate records.
The crime was reported last Friday morning when the Santa Ana Police Department said Lawlor approached the tent, which was pitched in a vacant lot, and told the occupants they had 15 minutes to leave or he’d come back with his Glock handgun.
When a man inside the tent popped his head out, police allege, Lawlor kicked him twice and then fled in a black truck, the Los Angeles Times reported. About five minutes later, police said Lawlor returned, carrying a red gasoline container. He then poured gasoline on the tent and set it on fire, police said.
The man and woman inside were able to flee, but the man suffered some minor burns, as well as injuries from the two blows to his head, the Times reported.
—City News Service
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