Man charged with lighting South Hill girlfriend on fire released from hospital

Staff writerMay 15, 2014 

A man charged with setting his girlfriend on fire on South Hill earlier this month pleaded not guilty Thursday in Pierce County Superior Court.

Angel Reyes, 39, is charged with attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault, first-degree arson and resisting arrest for the May 1 incident in the Hidden Glen Mobile Park, which critically injured his 34-year-old girlfriend.

Court Commissioner Meagan Foley ordered Reyes jailed in lieu of $1 million bail at the request of deputy prosecutor Bryce Nelson, who said the victim remains hospitalized and might not survive her injuries.

Prosecutors contend the couple argued briefly after the girlfriend arrived home, and Reyes doused her with gasoline and lit her on fire. He later told deputies he believed his girlfriend had reconciled with an old boyfriend and he just wanted to “intimidate” her with the gasoline can, according to charging papers.

The woman’s son told investigators Reyes had threatened in the past to hurt the woman, court records show.

Reyes fled in his pickup truck after starting the fire, and his girlfriend ran outside for help, where neighbors used hoses to put out the flames before firefighters arrived.

The mobile home was gutted.

Reyes was arrested in Lakewood later that day and hospitalized with serious burns.

He was released from the hospital Wednesday and booked into the Pierce County Jail.


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