Potomac News Online | Sudley man charged in firebombing

An 18-year-old Sudley man was arrested Friday for being part of a group that tried to firebomb a Manassas town house in February, Manassas police said.

Roger Lee Withrow of 8109 Portwood Turn was charged with 10 counts of attempted murder — one for each of the house’s 10 occupants — and attempted burning of an occupied dwelling, said Sgt. Tim Neumann, police spokesman.

“The incident is still under investigation,” Neumann said. “More arrests and more charges are expected in this case. We are also working to determine the motive and any prior relationship this group had with the victims, but cannot release any more information at this time.”


Around 12:30 a.m. Feb. 28, someone threw a bottle filled with a liquid that smelled like gasoline and had a wick into a home in the 8500 block of Liberia Avenue in the Point of Woods subdivision, police said.

The town house residents, who were asleep, heard glass break and found the bottle in pieces in their kitchen. Fire marshals also recovered a second bottle with a wick and filled with liquid in the bushes outside the home, police said.

No one was hurt in the incident and the residents were able to remain in the home, police said.

The bottles were sent to the FBI’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms’ laboratory in Maryland for analysis.

Neumann said that Withrow is not believed to be connected to the string of crimes that occurred in the Point of Woods section between November of last year and this past February, police said.

In less than four months, the subdivision saw three robberies and an attempted robbery. Shots were fired in two of those incidents, but Neumann said while those incidents may be related to each other, they are not connected to the attempted firebombing.

The investigation of the attempted firebombing is still ongoing. Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call the Manassas City Fire Marshals office at (703) 257-8233.

Callers can also call crime solvers at (703) 330-0330. Callers do not have to give their names or testify in court and may receive up to $1,000 reward.


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