Crime

He threw gasoline on a woman and threatened to light her on fire, charges say

A man is accused of throwing gasoline on a woman and threatening to light her on fire Sunday in Spanaway.

The 53-year-old pleaded not guilty at arraignment Monday in Pierce County Superior Court to second-degree assault, third-degree malicious mischief, fourth-degree assault, felony harassment and interfering with reporting domestic violence.

According to charging papers:

The woman reported the attack, and police arrived to find her crying and covered in gasoline, crouching in bushes.

She told police her eyes hurt and that it was hard to see.

She said she’d dated the suspect for eight years and that they lived together. He was drunk that morning, and they argued.

He accused her of accusing him of seeing other women. He broke furniture and threw things — some of which hit her.

The largest was a piece of bookshelf, which left a red mark on the side of her head.

Her arms, back and shins also hurt, she said.

She has multiple sclerosis and uses a cane, which she said made it difficult for her to get away.

At some point he got a gas can from his truck, filled a bowl with gasoline, and threw it on her.

The gas covered her head and torso.

He pulled out a cigarette lighter, lit it and said he’d set her ablaze if she didn’t apologize for accusing him of infidelity.

Then he lunged at her with the flame multiple times, saying that he would burn down the apartment with them both inside.

He stopped and walked away but came back as the woman was leaving the apartment.

He picked her up, then dragged her to the parking lot. Her back hurt after he put her down, she said.

She called 911, and he grabbed her phone and smashed it on the ground.

Sheriff’s deputies found methamphetamine and a lighter on the man when they arrested him.

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