South Hill man charged with lighting girlfriend on fire

Staff writerMay 7, 2014 

Angel Reyes was so angry at the thought of his girlfriend reconciling with an ex-boyfriend that he doused her with gasoline and lit her on fire, according to court records.

Pierce County prosecutors on Tuesday charged Reyes, 39, with attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault, first-degree arson and resisting arrest.

An arraignment date has not been scheduled because Reyes remains in the hospital with burns. His girlfriend, 34, is listed in critical condition with burns covering most of her body.

The incident happened Monday night in the couple’s home in the Hidden Glen Mobile Park in the 7600 block of 159th Street East.

Neighbors said the girlfriend came home while Reyes was mowing the lawn and they went inside. About 20 minutes later, the woman came running out of the burning house yelling for help. They grabbed hoses to extinguish the woman as Reyes allegedly got in his pickup truck and fled.

Central Pierce firefighters put out the blaze within 10 minutes but the fire later rekindled and gutted the mobile home.

Lakewood police arrested Reyes later that night after a struggle. He allegedly kicked a police dog in the face and told officers to shoot him when he used his hand to mimic a gun, charging papers state.

While in the hospital, Reyes allegedly told a deputy that he’d made “a big mistake” and that his girlfriend had “pushed him to his limits,” according to court documents.

Reyes told the deputy he thought his girlfriend had reconciled with a former boyfriend and they argued. He got the gas can out to “intimidate” her but it spilled all over both of them. Reyes said he then got out a lighter and thought about lighting himself on fire but dropped the lighter, igniting them both.

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