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Police: St. Petersburg woman tried to blow up her own apartment building

ST. PETERSBURG — A 45-year-old woman was arrested Friday, accused of trying to blow up her own apartment building.

Rosalie Lalicata, of 254 24th St. N, was arrested on a charge of attempted murder.

According to St. Petersburg police, Lalicata twice tried to spark a natural gas explosion at her building. She tried to fill the apartments with natural gas about 10:50 a.m. March 24 and again at about 10:15 a.m. March 26, police said.

The building has four apartments, police said, and at least one other unit was occupied. Lalicata initially told officers that she was trying to blow up the building, according to a police report. But after she was read her rights, she denied it, police said.

An officer reported being able to smell the gas several feet off the property line. Natural gas itself has no smell, but an odorant is often added to make it easier to detect leaks.

St. Petersburg Fire Rescue had to be called to the apartment building to clear out the heavy concentration of gas, police said. They used to two big industrial fans to air out the building. The gas company also had to cut off the line to the property.

Lalicata has been arrested previously on charges of cocaine possession, battery, leaving the scene of an accident and DUI, according to state records. She was in the Pinellas County jail on Friday night, being held without bail.

Police: St. Petersburg woman tried to blow up her own apartment building 04/02/10 [Last modified: Friday, April 2, 2010 11:17pm]
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