Alderman Unruffled by Attempted Arson at His Ward Office
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ST. LOUIS–(KMOX)– A northside alderman says he’s not intimidated by the attempted arson of his ward headquarters by a man allegedly upset over the alderman’s effort to revoke a troublesome liquor licence.
Alderman Antonio French stopped short of confirming the alleged motive for the crime, saying it’s under investigation by the circuit attorney, but he says some people don’t like his push for reforms.
“Some people don’t like the quick transformation of the neighborhood,” French said, “You know, we’re talking about an area where we’ve reduced homicides by 80-percent, dropped crime in a lot of different categories, and made a lot of blocks safer. As a consequence, we’ve put a lot of bad guys out of business.”
The suspect, 31-year old Richard Williamson, is accused of pouring gasoline into the mail slot of the 21st ward community office at 4202 Natural Bridge Avenue. He’s charged with second-degree attempted arson and armed criminal action. Williamson was being held on a $50,000 cash-only bail.
French says the damage to the office was minimal and he doesn’t feel that his life is in any danger.