Two London men charged with arson, harassment

File photo of London police cruiser. Photo by Blackburn News.

Charges have been laid against two Londoners after a north-end home was damaged and set on fire and its owner threatened earlier this week.

The bizarre incident began with the tires of a vehicle park in front of the home on Coronation Drive being slashed around 3:20 a.m. on Tuesday. In the two hours that followed, windows of the home were broken and fire was set to the garage and the vehicle.

London firefighters were called and extinguished the blaze. At that point, the resident began receiving threatening text messages.

Using video surveillance captured at the scene, London police were able to confirm the same suspects were responsible for the damages and the fires.

Officers stopped a suspect vehicle on Fanshawe Park Road West later the same day. In an attempt to get away from police, the driver tried to accelerate and ended up crashing into several vehicles.

Two men, aged 30 and 37, were arrested. They are now charged with criminal harassment by combination of prohibited conduct, arson causing property damage, arson with disregard for human life, and mischief under $5,000.

The 30-year-old faces additional charges of extortion, uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm, impaired driving, failure to comply with demand made by a peace officer, and driving while prohibited.

According to police, the two accused and the victim were known to each other.

Damages are estimated at $21,500.