Knappenberger bail revoked in connected case


A Warren man charged with attempted murder last week has had bail revoked in a connected sexual assault case.

Jackson K. Knappenberger, 25, E. Third Ave., allegedly attempted to burn down a residence in Sugar Grove Twp. on Dec. 27.

According to the affidavit of probable cause in that case, Knappenberger allegedly brought a mixture of oil and gasoline in a plastic bag to the residence at about 8 p.m., poured it on the porch, set fire to it, and ran.

“The defendant’s boots fell off his person as he was running from the scene,” police said. One of the victims — there were seven people, including five children, inside at the time of the incident — identified the boots as Knappenberger’s and police started looking for him.

Barefoot, muddy, and smelling strongly of gasoline, Knappenberger allegedly told police he had started the fire, knew the residence was occupied, and was trying to frighten one or more of the people inside.

District Attorney Rob Greene said in his argument on Friday that one of those individuals – a 12-year-old girl – is the alleged victim of an indecent assault that occurred in May.

The affidavit of probable cause in that case alleges that Knappenberger “had on several occasions grabbed the hand (of the victim) and forced her to touch the penis of the defendant over his clothing.”

Knappenberger is also alleged to have “grabbed her breasts and ‘squeezed’ her breasts over her clothing” and “placed his hand on her vaginal area and was rubbing her vaginal area. This also occurred over her clothing.”

That victim, police allege, “was also in the residence at the time (Knappenberger) set the fire.”

Greene on Friday said that bail should be revoked in the sexual assault case due to the “serious nature of the offense of arson and attempted murder of seven individuals.”

He speculated that Knappenberger set the fire to “extremely scare her or burn her alive.”

Hammond revoked bail in the sexual assault case and said that Knappenberger would “remain incarcerated pending disposition of these charges.”

Bail was denied by District Justice Todd Woodin at the docket related to the fire.