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updated: 11/3/2010 4:48 PM

Lake Co. man denies firebomb attack

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An Antioch Township man accused of throwing a firebomb at a man he was arguing with in a bar pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Lake County Circuit Court

Michael Roman, 35, faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of possession of an explosive device and aggravated battery.

Assistant State's Attorney Steven Derue said Roman, of the 2700 block of West Grass Lake Road, got into an argument with a man about 2:30 a.m. on Sept. 11.

Police said the victim and a friend left the bar and were walking home when Roman came up from behind them with a screwdriver and a bottle filled with gasoline.

Roman set fire to a rag that was stuffed into the bottle and threw it at the victim, police said. The bottle hit the victim, bounced off and burst into flames when it struck the ground.

Roman then slashed the victim with the screwdriver, police said. He was taken into custody by Lake County sheriff's police who arrived on the scene.

Circuit Judge John Phillips scheduled a trial of the case for Jan. 10. Phillips ordered Roman, who is free after posting $10,000 for bond, to appear in court Dec. 20.