Lawn mowing dispute leads to Sioux City man starting fire at neighbor’s, court docs say

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Lee Bowman, Photo Courtesy of the Woodbury County Jail

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – A Sioux City man was arrested Sunday night after a dispute with neighbors over mowing the lawn.

On Sunday evening around 5:57 p.m., Sioux City police responded to a report of a fire in the 3100 block of 8th Street. The fire was determined to be arson, and the victims were inside the home during the time of the fire. Neighbors banged on the door to alert the victims.

An investigation into the fire showed sticks and plywood were propped up against the house, and a fire accelerant was used. The estimated damage to the house was $3,000.

Court documents said a neighbor of the victims asked them to mow his lawn on Saturday, and they hadn’t mowed. The neighbor, Lee Bowman, 53, of Sioux City, was seen on video going to the victims’ house around 4:21 p.m. on Sunday. Bowman asked his neighbors when they were going to mow and tried to take the registration sticker off of their vehicle. The sticks and plywood that were propped up on the burnt house were from Bowman’s home.

During an interview with officials, Bowman said he saw the fire, but it wasn’t his business, so he didn’t call 911. He watched the other neighbor come to tell the victims the house was on fire. Bowman also admitted to “making a mistake” and said gasoline was used along with it from a lawnmower, according to documents.

Bowman was arrested and charged with first-degree arson along with second-degree criminal mischief. He was booked into the Woodbury County Jail on a $20,000 bond.

The victims are seeking a no contact order.

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