North Cornwall police are investigating a bizarre arson incident in which a raccoon was set afire on a front lawn on Monday night, Nov. 16.

Home security footage provided by the residents shows a pickup truck rolling to a stop in front of the home, located on the 2300 block of W. Oak Street, and an occupant getting out. The occupant walks up to a tree and moments later the front yard erupts into light.

The arsonist then sprints back to the pickup, which has already started driving away, suggesting that at least two people were involved.

A still photo provided by the homeowners shows a charred and still-burning raccoon corpse on the shoulder of the road. The photo, which is graphic, can be viewed here. The animal is believed to have been doused in an incendiary fluid before to being deposited on the lawn.

In an interview with LebTown yesterday, North Cornwall Township Police Chief John Leahy said “[w]e are currently investigating it as an arson. We are unable to determine if the animal was already on the roadway or if it was brought to that location and lit on fire. “

“It could have been already struck and lying on the road and they saw an opportunity to light the animal on fire, or the animal could have been brought to that location and set on fire.”

Chief Leahy added that “[w]e believe it was previously struck by a car. Whether it was struck there or elsewhere, that remains to be seen.”

County dispatch logs show that a fire call was made to 911 shortly before 9 p.m. on Nov. 16. According to Leahy, the call had been made by a neighbor. LebTown is not identifying the exact address of the incident or the identity of the homeowners in accordance with our police blotter policy.

Leahy urged anyone having information on the incident or the identity of the perpetrators to call North Cornwall Police at 717-274-0464.

Have information on this criminal incident?

Call North Cornwall Township Police at 717-274-0464.

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Chris Coyle writes primarily on government, the courts, and business. He retired as an attorney at the end of 2018, after concentrating for nearly four decades on civil and criminal litigation and trials. A career highlight was successfully defending a retired Pennsylvania state trooper who was accused,...


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