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A California woman doused a man with gasoline and then lit him on fire in a park in a horrifying scene caught on surveillance video, police said.
Police in Sanger arrested Patricia Castillo, 48, and a man suspected of giving her the fuel after the incident Thursday night and said the victim is expected to recover. It was not known what prompted the woman’s attack or if she knew the victim.
“The video shows Castillo approaching the victim and throwing a liquid from a cup onto him, and she and the victim appear to argue before Castillo sparks a lighter and lights the victim on fire. Further investigation revealed that Leonard Hawkins had provided the accelerant used to light the victim on fire to Castillo,” the police department said in a Facebook post.
The video cuts off moments after the victim is engulfed in flames.
— FOX26 News (@KMPHFOX26) July 9, 2022
Castillo and Leonard Hawkins, 43, both of Sanger, were being held in the Fresno County Jail on charges of attempted murder, arson, and conspiracy.
“I don’t have an answer for motive at this time,” Lt. Joshua Johnson told The Fresno Bee.
The incident happened around 8:30 p.m. in Sanger Park. Sanger is a city of about 26,000, some 13 miles east of Fresno.
Police said they released the surveillance video to show that using taxpayer funds for cameras had paid off.
“It’s shocking,” Johnson acknowledged, “but an example of our taxpayers’ dollars at work, as that system was expensive and installed last year.”
Police believe they arrived in time to save the man, who was not identified.
“Due to the severity of the victim’s burns, EMS immediately transported him to an area hospital,” the Sanger Police Department wrote on Facebook.