Man accused of aggravated assault

•LAWRENCEVILLE - A 36-year-old Lawrenceville man was arrested last week after allegedly threatening his pregnant stepdaughter with a hammer.

When Mattison Scott Brown called his wife earlier in the day on Aug. 12, she could tell he had been drinking and told him not to come home. Around 10 p.m., Brown arrived at the house to discover he had been locked out. He reportedly used a hammer to break the glass in the front door and gain entry.

He then confronted his wife and 23-year-old stepdaughter, who were watching television in an upstairs bedroom. Brown began yelling and shaking the hammer at his stepdaughter because she wouldn't leave him and his wife alone to talk, according to a police report.

The wife and daughter managed to lock themselves in a bathroom to call 911, but Brown broke open the door, the police report stated. His wife ran out of the house and began ringing neighbors' doorbells for help. Brown was arrested on an aggravated assault charge.

Vacant house fire suspected arson

•LAWRENCEVILLE - A fire destroyed a vacant house Thursday night on Meadow Wood Court in Lawrenceville.

Investigators believe a blaze was intentionally set on the main level of the split-level home, sending thick smoke throughout the entire house. Firefighters arrived to find a heavy fire burning in the kitchen and living room, said Lt. Thomas Rutledge, spokesman for the Gwinnett County Fire Department.

The blaze was quickly knocked down, Rutledge said. No one was home at the time the fire broke out. Neighbors told firefighters that the house had been vacant for several weeks.

Investigators are treating the case as an arson because there was no electrical or gas supply to the dwelling. Anyone with information is asked to call the Georgia Arson Control hotline at 1-800-282-5804. A reward of up to $10,000 is offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible.

Gas leak diverts traffic on Ga. 120

•LAWRENCEVILLE - A gas leak in front of Discover Mills mall on Thursday afternoon temporarily diverted traffic along Duluth Highway.

The leak, reported shortly before 4 p.m. at the construction site of a new strip mall, was under control by 7:15, according to the Gwinnett County Fire Department.

No evacuations were necessary. Motorists were asked to use Sugarloaf Parkway and Satellite Boulevard.

- From staff reports