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Las Vegas man faces arson charge in attack on homeless camp

A Las Vegas man is accused of trying to set fire to a homeless camp with lighter fluid and fireworks.

Las Vegas police arrested Christopher Terrell Lee on an arson charge July 1. According to his arrest report, a homeless woman called 911 that morning to report that a man was pouring lighter fluid on the tents that she and three other people were sleeping in near Bonanza Road and H Street.

Minutes later, she called back and said the same man was firing fireworks at the tents from across the street. When police arrived, a witness identified Lee as the man who tried to ignite the tents, the report states.

Lee told police that he did not have any fireworks, but when officers pointed out the fireworks stand next to his front door, he said he had been shooting fireworks the night before, according to the arrest report. He later said he used the fireworks three to four days before.

The woman who called police said she woke up to the sound of someone walking around her tent. She looked outside and saw Lee pouring lighter fluid on her tent, the tent adjacent to it and around the vacant lot where they were staying, according to the report.

She told police Lee went back to his residence, lit a firework and pointed it toward the lot. When it missed, he fired a second firework that also missed, striking the freeway wall behind the lot.

According to the report, Lee told police he was upset that the four people camping on the lot were urinating and defecating outside.

Police found lighter fluid stains on the tents, and two fireworks that appeared to have been used recently. Lee was booked into the Clark County Detention Center, but jail records show he since has been released.

Contact Max Michor at mmichor@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0381. Follow @MaxMichor on Twitter.

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