Lori Cousins (right)

Abbotsford man faces two counts in case of torched Mercedes

Witnesses said suspect claimed he set fire to car because his son was being bullied

A 45-year-old Abbotsford man has been charged with two arson-related offences for allegedly setting fire to a car in the middle of the day.

James Patrick Conley has been charged with one count of arson damaging property and one count of possession of incendiary material.

Conley was charged after a late-model Mercedes Benz sedan parked in a back lane was extensively damaged on Monday, May 30, near Montrose Avenue and George Ferguson Way.

After appearing before a judge, Conley was released from custody to consult with counsel. His next court appearance is set for July 7.

Eyewitness Lori Cousins told The News that she, her daughter Devan Cousins and her daughter’s boyfriend Xavier Luck saw a man pacing on Montrose Avenue with a red gas can who then took the cap off the can and walked into the side lane. The trio followed and saw the sedan begin to burn.

They yelled at the man, who then put the gas can down and started talking to them.

She said he was ranting about his son being bullied.

Luck ran and got a fire extinguisher.

With the assistance of a pickup truck driver who blocked the exit, the three were able to prevent the man from driving away.

Police and fire arrived shortly after and arrested the man at the scene.

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