Vehicle fires raise suspicions in Lisbon
LISBON — The state fire marshal’s office was called in to investigate suspicious vehicle fires on West Washington Street that occurred about 10:45 p.m. Sunday.
Tonia Gearin, who lives at the residence with Joe Frantz III, reported her son was taking the trash out when he noticed two vehicles were on fire while parked along the street. One of the cars was owned by Frantz, and Gearin said the man who had been assaulted the week before was seen walking up and down the street all day.
She was referring to a reported fight that occurred in the middle of the intersection of South Lincoln Avenue and West Washington Street on the evening of Sept. 6, which drew a crowd of 15 to 20 people. The incident resulted in Frantz, 37, and Shawn R. Haines, 35, West High Street, being charged with assaulting a 52-year-old South Lincoln Avenue man, who suffered a black eye and injured ribs.
Witnesses were unable to clearly identify or describe who they saw prior to the vehicle fires, so police went to the assault victim’s apartment. The suspect refused to open the door, but said through a window he had spent most of the evening with someone who goes by the name of Cowboy. Lt. Shar Daub said they were later able to corroborate the suspect’s alibi for the time period when the fires occurred.
Meanwhile, fire Chief Paul Gresh Jr. contacted the local arson task force, and after they were done he informed police that someone from the state fire marshal’s office would be in town the next day to perform a final assessment.
Lt. Daub said Frantz’s car had been inoperable and parked on the street since April. He was cited by the police department and paid the fine. She was preparing to cite him again for not moving the vehicle when the fire occurred.