2 people charged with attempted murder after lighting man on fire during argument

Sanger Police Department/Facebook

(SANGER, Calif.) — Two people have been arrested and charged with attempted murder after getting into an argument with a man and then lighting him on fire.

The incident occurred at approximately 9:15 p.m. on Thursday, July 7, when the Sanger Police Department responded to reports of an injured man suffering severe burns to his upper body in Sanger, California — about 15 miles east of Fresno.

When authorities reached the victim, who remains unnamed, he told them that a woman had set him on fire several blocks away when they encountered each other at Sanger Park. He was immediately transported to a local area hospital due to the severity of his injuries.

“Investigators used video surveillance and witness statements to identify Patricia Castillo and Leonard Hawkins as the suspects,” the Sanger Police Department said in a statement released on social media. “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.”

Authorities were able to locate both suspects and reportedly arrested them without incident. Patricia Castillo, 48, and Leonard Hawkins, 43, were subsequently booked into the Fresno County Jail and charged with attempted murder, arson, and conspiracy.

The victim’s condition is currently unknown but he is expected to survive.

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