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Man, drunk, allegedly tried to burn down home, passes out instead

Christopher Dornblaser
717-505-5436/@YDDornblaser

Police say a drunk Conewago Township man attempted to burn down his home last Saturday, but fell asleep before he could.

Scott R. Bolton, 51, of 310 E. Butter Road, remains in York County Prison on $50,000 bail and is charged with attempted arson, risking catastrophe, disorderly conduct, and public drunkenness, according to charging documents.

Scott Bolton

On Saturday, Northern York County Regional Police were sent to Bolton's home after his sister told police she had spoken with Bolton, who sounded drunk, making comments referring to gas and burning his house down, documents state.

When officers arrived at his home, Bolton was found leaning against the front porch railing, and police say officers attempted to speak with him, but he did not respond.

When Bolton did finally respond, he told officers "I want to blow this bitch up," referring to his home, and "F--k her," referring to his soon-to-be ex-wife, according to police.

Officers found a can of lighter fluid and a lighter next to Bolton, as well as empty blue and red gas cans lying on the front porch. Police say they went into the home to make sure no one was inside and when they got inside they smelled a strong odor of gasoline and saw the floor wet with paper towels thrown about, soaked in gasoline. The fireplace had also been turned on, leaking propane.

Police say Bolton did not see a problem with the situation.

"It's my house, I can burn it down," he said, according to documents.

Police say when they spoke to Bolton, there was a very strong odor of alcohol and Bolton had difficulty with his balance.

Another home with people in it was within 25 yards away from Bolton's, and Bolton's home is in a heavily wooded area which had an active burn ban due to dry conditions, according to police. Strinestown Fire Company was sent to the home to ventilate it, and they found a sofa in the living room completely saturated in gasoline that needed to be taken from the home.

Police say as they were taking Bolton to Central Booking, Bolton was did not understand why he was being arrested. He told police he intended on lighting the home on fire and then leaving in his car that was at the end of the driveway.

"It's my house, why can't I burn it down?" he said, according to police.

Bolton said he wanted to burn it down so his wife couldn't get anything, documents state. He told police he had just finished putting gas throughout the home and passed out on the front porch before he got a chance to do it, police said.

When asked how much he had to drink, he said "a couple," documents state.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at cdornblaser@yorkdispatch.com