RIVERSIDE — A Riverside man is accused of lighting his mother on fire after dousing her in gasoline and catching the house on fire with several people inside on Mother’s Day.
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Jonathon M. Lambes, 26, was charged Tuesday with three counts of aggravated arson and single counts of felonious assault and domestic violence stemming from the fire in the first block of Eisenhower Drive in Riverside Sunday.
Sturgeon said police were requested to the scene not on reports of a fire, but on reports of an assault at the house with the suspect still on the scene.
“We knew right away this was not a normal fire. We had information that came in that the fire was set intentionally and the person may still be on scene, and that someone in the house might have been hurt,” Sturgeon said.
Lambes’ mother, 55, was taken to Miami Valley Hospital with serious burns, but her injuries are considered non-life threatening, Sturgeon said. She was listed in fair condition Monday morning, according to a hospital spokesperson.
A domestic issue or argument appears to have been what started the incident and police have had a “lengthy” history with domestic issues involving Lambes and his mother, Sturgeon said.
“From what we can tell, there’s a lot of witnesses there’s a lot of video to this; He went to the rear, came back, and looks to us that he used some sort of an accelerant to cause the fire purposely,” Sturgeon said. “You would never think somebody would try to intentionally set their mother and/or their mother’s home on fire. And that appears that’s what happened yesterday.”
A Riverside police report, obtained through a records request by News Center 7, lists a gas can as an item recovered as evidence during the investigation.
When police arrived on the scene, witnesses said Lambes was trying to drive away. However police stopped, detained, and later arrested him.
Lambes had previously been charged with felony domestic violence in municipal court back in January after police said he shoved his mother and caused bruising to her arm. He also was accused of threatening her with a golf club. A grand jury reviewed the January case and did not indict him, so the charges were dismissed in the case, online records show.
Lambes has previous convictions for domestic violence, including two misdemeanor convictions in 2013 and 2015. In the 2015 conviction, a plea agreement was reached lowering the charge from a felony to misdemeanor. He was sentenced to probation for two years.
Cox Media Group