A Fife man suspected of trying to light his girlfriend on fire was ordered jailed Wednesday in lieu of $75,000 bail.
Jermaine Miles, 24, pleaded not guilty to a charge of attempted first-degree arson. Pierce County Superior Court Commissioner Meagan Foley ordered him to have no contact with his girlfriend or their 4-year-old son, who was present during the alleged attack.
Fife police were called Tuesday to the couple’s apartment in the 4600 block of 16th Street East by the victim’s mother. She received a text message from her daughter asking for help.
A passerby told officers he heard “a girl getting beat up,” according to charging documents. The victim was hysterical when police found her and she reeked of lighter fluid.
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She said a fight over her cellphone escalated when Miles retrieved a lighter and a can of lighter fluid from their deck. He allegedly dragged her by the hair and threw her to the ground before dousing her head, face and shirt with lighter fluid.
“As the defendant poured the lighter fluid on her he told her, ‘I’m going to teach you about lying … you’re going to learn today,” records state.
The woman was able to flee the apartment with the child and text her mother for help.
Miles initially denied doing anything other than grabbing his girlfriend but “eventually admitted to bringing the can of lighter fluid inside but said it was an accident that lighter fluid wound up on” her, according to court records.
The couple had been dating five years and had a son together, police said.