GRAPHIC VIDEO: Man set on fire outside Arizona convenience store
GLENDALE, Ariz. (3TV/CBS 5/Gray News) - A man is recovering at a hospital burn unit after being set on fire with gasoline outside of a Circle K convenience store in Arizona.
Glendale police told Arizona’s Family early Sunday morning that officers responded to reports of a man on fire at the Circle K at 59th and Olive avenues around 4:30 a.m. Police say officers arrived and found Blake Angerer fully engulfed in flames.
When authorities arrived, witnesses were trying to put out the fire by pouring water over Angerer.
After speaking with witnesses, officers learned that the suspect, Luciano Simmons, had walked into the Circle K moments before the incident and bought gasoline. The clerk confirmed to detectives that Simmons was in the store and bought the gas.
Police sayid Simmons reportedly filled up a water bottle with gasoline and then walked to the nearby bus stop, which is just northwest of the gas pumps. A witness at the bus stop with Simmons and Angerer said Simmons poured gasoline on Angerer and then used a blue butane torch to light Angerer on fire.
Surveillance video shows the moments Angerer and the witness run toward the nearby Circle K while the witness tried to put out the fire. Police say the witness, Angerer, and the Circle K clerk were pouring water over Angerer until first responders arrived on the scene.
In the 911 call, the clerk is heard telling the dispatcher to quickly send firefighters and police as Angerer wailed in the background. “A person came into my store in flames!” he shouted. He then tells Angerer, “Someone’s coming, dude, hold on. You’re OK; you’re alive. Don’t worry dude; we got you, we got you.”
The clerk then continued to try to reassure Angerer and told him he was not on fire after they doused him with water. “You’re not on fire, it’s just your skin,” he said. “Don’t move! You’re going to make it worse.”
Angerer continued to cry and scream in the background.
“Where are the burns?” the dispatcher asked. “All over his body! Everywhere! On his leg, his back,” replied the clerk.
Angerer then tried to take his clothes off before the clerk stopped him.
“Don’t take your clothes off! If you take your clothes off, you’ll peel more skin off! Don’t do anything. Let EMS handle it!” he shouted. The dispatcher then told the clerk to continue putting cold water on Angerer until police arrived.
About 30 minutes after the incident, the clerk spotted Simmons across the street and identified him to officers as the man who bought gasoline just before Angerer was set on fire.
Investigators found a water bottle at the bus stop that smelled strongly of gasoline. They also found the pump where the clerk saw Simmons fill up a water bottle with $1 worth of gas. Detectives reviewed the surveillance video, stating it was consistent with statements provided by the clerk.
During an interview with Simmons, he admitted to detectives he was at the Circle K and purchased a small amount of gasoline for his gas-powered bicycle.
Simmons was shown an image of a person inside the Circle K moments before Angerer was set on fire. He confirmed he was the man spotted in the store surveillance video but denied being the person who set Angerer on fire.
Simmons was arrested and faces an aggravated assault charge that resulted in serious physical injury. Police said it’s unknown if Angerer will survive his injuries.
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