ESSEX, Md. (WJZ)—A Baltimore County man is in jail, charged with attempted murder after police say he firebombed his neighbor’s house in Essex that injured a woman, police officer and firefighter.
Rochelle Ritchie has more on the man and why the homeowners say this could have been avoided.
John Mosley, 65, is behind bars, charged with attempted murder, arson and assault after Baltimore County Police say he firebombed his neighbors’ house after a heated argument.
“She went home and was actually in the process of calling police for help when she heard a loud noise, shattering windows and fire,” said Elise Armacost, Baltimore County Police.
Baltimore County fire and police responded to the two-story home in the 700-block of Essex Road just after 9 a.m. Tuesday.
With the help of an officer and another neighbor, Mosley’s next-door neighbor, Catherine, was able to escape the burning home alive.
She was transported to a local hospital.
“She’s devastated, but she was in there for smoke inhalation,” said her partner, Rose Bartko, who was not home during the fire.
“When my neighbors called me and told me my house was burning, I knew he did it,” Bartko said.
WJZ cameras were there as the family members carried the body of one of their beloved pets out of the rubble.
Victims and other witnesses throughout the neighborhood tell Baltimore County Police that Mosley had been acting strange the last few weeks. On the front of his home he’s written “kill me.”
“He threatened us. He told us we were going to die, and we told the police this. We told them,” Bartko said.
A search warrant executed Tuesday at Mosley’s home found no hazardous materials on the property. But based on a positive reaction from an accelerant-sniffing dog, investigators believe that an accelerant was used to start the fire.
Baltimore County Police say in 1995 and 1996 Mosley was ordered by police to undergo a mental evaluation. They would not say why.
“If you say to me ‘my neighbor is acting crazy,’ that is not enough to send someone for an emergency evaluation,” Armacost said.
The couple had lived in the home for 14 years, building it from the ground up. They say replacing the house is easy; it’s the lives of their pets that are irreplaceable.
“I knew it was going to get bad,” Bartko said.
Mosley is being held without bond at the Baltimore County Detention Center.
One firefighter who fell on the ice and one police officer who suffered minor injuries were transported to Franklin Square Hospital for treatment.
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