Man indicted for attempting to burn neighbor’s house


A Delaware man was indicted by a Delaware County grand jury for attempting to set fire to his neighbor’s house while 11 people were inside.

Joseph David Sullivan, 34, of 112 Oak Hill Ave., allegedly put gasoline on the side of his neighbor’s home at 106 Oak Hill Ave. and set it on fire about 7 p.m. Aug. 3, Delaware police say. Court documents say the fire only left char marks on the house, which was occupied by five adults and six children.

A separate complaint alleges that Sullivan, after attempting to set the fire, jumped over the fence and entered the backyard at 106 Oak Hill Ave. Sullivan was reportedly brandishing a large knife and caused a group of adults to believe he would harm them, court documents state.

Adults standing in the yard fought Sullivan when he came over the fence with the knife and police said his face was red and swollen when they arrived.

Police allege that Sullivan set the fire because he believed his neighbors had something to do with a stolen guitar.

Sullivan was arrested by Delaware police, charged with five counts of aggravated menacing, aggravated trespass and aggravated arson, and was taken to the Delaware County Jail.

He later appeared in Delaware Municipal Court before Judge Marianne Hemmeter. Bond was set at $50,000.

He was indicted by a county grand jury Friday and now faces a charge of aggravated arson, a second-degree felony; and five counts of aggravated menacing, first-degree misdemeanors.

An arraignment in Delaware County Common Pleas Court has not been scheduled. The case will be heard by Judge David Gormley.

Sullivan was still being held in the county jail Friday afternoon.


By Glenn Battishill

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Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.

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