- James Anthony Lawlor, 35, was charged with attempted murder, arson, assault and making terrorist threats for the early January attack
- He approached a couple living in the tent on a vacant parking lot and threatened them with a gun if they didn’t leave, according to Santa Ana Police
- When the victim poked his head confronting the man, Lawlor kicked him twice
- Lawlor then lit the couple’s tent on fire before driving away in a black truck
- A witness photographed Lawlor and his truck at the scene
- The victim’s sketch of Lawlor also helped police identify the suspect
James Anthony Lawlor, 35, was charged with attempted murder, arson, assault and making terrorist threats for the early January attack
Southern Californian police were able to arrest a man who allegedly set a homeless couple’s tent on fire thanks to a sketch drawn by one of the victims.
James Anthony Lawlor, 35, was charged with attempted murder, arson, assault and making terrorist threats for the early January attack, according to Santa Ana Police.
Lawlor was said to have approached the couple, on a vacant lot they lived on, around 8.30am and threatened them to leave in 15 minutes or he would come back with his Glock handgun.
Police assert that when the man looked out to confront Lawlor, he was kicked twice in the head.
Then leaving the couple, the perpetrator returned moments later with a red gas container. Pouring gasoline on the tent, Lawlor allegedly set it on fire before leaving in a black truck.
‘He was upset by, as many people are, the homeless issue, but taking it out by lighting somebody on fire is not the answer,’ Santa Ana Police Cpl Anthony Bertagna explained to CBS2 News.
A witness snapped a picture of Lawlor and his license plate which allowed police to locate the man for his assault on a homeless couple that resulted in him lighting their tent on fire
The victim’s sketch of Lawlor also helped Santa Ana police identify the suspect
Arson investigators where able to pinpoint the suspect with the help of a witness’s photo showing Lawlor and his pickup truck’s license plate.
The man who was kicked in the face also drew a sketch of Lawlor.
‘They drew — not a professional — it may look a little cartoonish, but when you put the suspect’s picture next to the drawing, looks pretty good,’ said Bertagna.
The man living in the tent hasn’t had his name released.
He only suffered minor burns but would not take treatment at the hospital.