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Oil City Man Charged With Arson And Assault; Charlton Street Home Destroyed

December 27, 2017

An Oil City man has been charged with arson and other counts after he allegedly assaulted his girlfriend and then set fire to their house.

37 year-old Michael Ritchey was lodged in the Venango County Jail without bail following the Tuesday night incident at a residence on the 100-block of Charlton Street in Oil City.  Other charges against him include simple assault, strangulation, risking a catastrophe and harassment.

Oil City Police say the incidents began when Ritchey punched and choked his girlfriend.  The woman was able to get away and ran to a neighbor’s house.  Police officials say they were interviewing the alleged victim at the neighbor’s residence when they smelled smoke at Ritchey’s home and rushed there.

Officers say they discovered a fire in a bathroom.  By the time city firefighers arrived on the scene, the small home was virtually destroyed.  The neighbors were evacuated from their home as a precaution, and Ritchey was arrested at the scene.

Venango Weather