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Man Threatens Arson And Punches Woman During Tompkins Street Dispute

Local News

A Cortland man was arrested Saturday (August 10) after Police say he punched a woman and threatened to burn down his own apartment on Tompkins Street, following a dispute they were engaged in the entire afternoon.

The defendant is 50-year-old Melvin Truell of Tompkins Street.

Cortland Police say at one point in the afternoon, the 40-year-old woman he was arguing with left the apartment to let him “cool off.”

Her 19-year-old son was still home and witnessed Truell pour lighter fluid all over the apartment while on the phone with his mother saying he hoped she and her son would be inside and die.

Truell then threatened the young man, lighting a match and immediately blowing it out just to scare him. The son then left the apartment in fear that Truell would set the building ablaze.

Shortly afterwards, the woman returned to the apartment and her argument with Truell continued. It wasn’t until he punched her in the head that she finally decide to call Police.

Truell was hit with five charges, including two felonies for attempted arson and reckless endangerment.

He was remanded to Cortland County Jail with no bail and set to appear in court yesterday morning.

The case was investigated by the Cortland Police, Cortland Fire, and State Fire Investigators.

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