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Police: Man tried to burn down Jackson Twp. home while ex slept in it


Police say a York City man used gasoline to try to blow up the propane tanks next to his ex-girlfriend's Jackson Township trailer while she and two other people slept inside it early Sunday morning.

Lorenzo Jackson Sr., 61, of 216 Park Place, is charged with three felony counts each of aggravated assault, arson of an occupied structure and risking catastrophe, as well as three misdemeanor counts of simple assault, according to the criminal complain filed Sunday against him.

Northern York County Regional Police were called to Chesapeake Estates just off Biesecker Road around 1 a.m. Sunday. Roxanna Murphy, who lives there, told police she'd been asleep on the couch when she heard someone messing with the back door, according to charging documents.

She said she found Jackson, her housemate's ex-boyfriend, at the door — along with a strong smell of gasoline, police say.

"I have nothing to lose," Jackson told Murphy, according to documents.

They both yelled for Peggy Pyle, who had dated Jackson. She told him to leave, and he ran away, police say Pyle told them. The women then called police.

Officers arriving on the scene found a strong smell of gas and an empty five-liter gas can, according to documents. The women said the can was theirs and was previously half-full, police allege. Gasoline was running from the can to propane tanks next to the house, with more gas poured onto Pyle's car, which was in the driveway, according to documents.

Near the gas, they found a burned cigarette, documents state. Police allege Jackson attempted to light the gas by tossing the lit cigarette at it, but the heavy early morning dew put out the embers before they set the gas alight.

Pyle, Pyle's daughter and Murphy were all in the trailer when Jackson allegedly attempted to set the fire.

Jackson remains in York County Prison in lieu of $250,000 monetary bail, according to prison records.

— Reach Sean Cotter at