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Siouxland Strange
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Siouxland Strange

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Mow my lawn, now!

A Sioux City man was jailed May 23 on suspicion of setting fire to his next-door neighbors' house because they hadn't mowed his lawn as requested.

Lee Bowman, 53, was arrested on charges of first-degree arson and second-degree criminal mischief. He is being held in the Woodbury County Jail on a $20,000 bond.

Police and firefighters were called to a home in the 3100 block of Eighth Street at 5:57 p.m. May 23. Fire investigators found sticks and plywood propped up against the house and evidence that gas had been used in lighting the fire, which caused an estimated $3,000 in damage to the siding, wall and interior of the home.

According to court documents, video captured Bowman visiting the home at 4:21 p.m. to ask the residents when they were going to mow his lawn. Bowman was upset because he had asked them to mow his lawn the day before, and they hadn't. After speaking with the residents, he attempted to peel the registration sticker off of one of the residents' vehicle.

During an interview with police, Bowman admitted he saw the house burning, but he didn't call 911 because it wasn't any of his business. Instead, he sat behind his house and watched as a neighbor noticed the fire and alerted the residents. The plywood and sticks came from Bowman's home, court documents said, and Bowman said he used gas from a lawn mower.

The victims have requested a no-contact order against Bowman, police said.

A scary moment at the grocery store

A Sioux City man was arrested May 25 after he allegedly chased an employee at the Hamilton Boulevard Hy-Vee down an aisle with a knife.

At around 9:30 a.m. May 25, Hy-Vee employees noticed that 33-year-old Victor Armond Cieselski, listed as a transient of Sioux City, was inside the grocery store despite having previously been banned, according to a criminal complaint.  

Cieselski stayed in the store, and an employee called 911 to have him removed. He then chased the employee down a store aisle "and pulled a long handle knife from a sheath he had concealed inside the left side of his jeans and displayed it" in a threatening manor, according to the complaint. The knife was more than 5 1/2 inches long. 

This was not the first time Cieselski had caused a problem at a Hy-Vee.

In October 2019, he threatened a store employee at the Hy-Vee store on Pierce Street with a hammer and then threw the hammer at the employee. He was arrested shortly after that incident, after throwing bottles at police officers. He was sentenced at the end of 2019 to 90 days in jail, with a four-year suspended prison sentence and two years' probation. 

Cieselski was apprehended and faces charges including assault while carrying a dangerous weapon, carrying weapons and trespass. He was held in the Woodbury County jail on $7,500 bond. 

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