Man charged with arson, terrorism in city hall fire
LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) — A man has been charged with arson and terrorism in fires that damaged the entrance of a Pennsylvania city hall and a nearby vehicle last month.
Dwain Stewart London Jr., 29, is charged with two counts of terrorism, two counts of arson, reckless burning or exploding, institutional vandalism and conspiracy.
Authorities consider the May 23 blaze at the Lancaster City Hall not merely property damage but an “act of intimidation,” Lancaster police chief Jarrad Berkihiser told reporters Tuesday.
London has told police he was home at the time of the fires. Court documents don’t list an attorney representing him, and a message left at a number listed in his name wasn’t immediately returned Tuesday.
Berkihiser said surveillance video showed London purchasing gas hours before the fire and an unidentified passenger emerging from his vehicle, entering the store, and then carrying a small red container that appeared to be a gas can. Police said his gait matches that of a man seen on video before and after the fire. That person is being sought.
Mayor Danene Sorace said London had been at a City Council meeting the night before speaking about actions the city was taking concerning family properties. Berkihiser declined comment on the motive.
Sorace said damage to the 130-year-old doors and stone front of the building as well as the vehicle has cost the city more than $100,000.