An Arvada man is accused of setting his girlfriend on fire in front of one of her young sons – injuring the boy’s hand as he tried to put out the blaze, according to court documents.
John Vasquez, 32, is being held in Clear Creek County Jail and faces numerous charges, including attempted second-degree murder.
Court records say the victim sustained burns on 60 percent of her body. She’s at the University of Colorado Hospital in serious condition.
According to the arrest affidavit, Vasquez, the victim and her two sons, who are 7 and 10 years old, were on an unscheduled camping trip June 17 to Barbour Forks in Clear Creek County.
One of the boys told investigators he was next to his mom when Vasquez spilled gas on her and she caught on fire.
The boy told investigators he tried to put out the fire by pouring water on her.
Because of the redactions in the court documents, it’s impossible to tell if it was the 7-year-old or the 10-year-old pouring water on his mom.
Investigators interviewed the victim’s second son, who said he didn’t see the incident. He said he heard the screaming and ran toward his mother. He also tried to help put the fire out.
The boy told police he saw Vasquez kicking dirt onto the victim.
One of the sons called 911 and said, “Johnny spilled gasoline on mom and lit a lighter.”
According to court documents, Vasquez and the victim had a fight the night before.
“John kicked her and she punched him in the face, splitting his lip,” the documents say.
One of the boys told investigators “he saw John pour gas on his mom and light her on fire near one of her shoulders using a blue lighter, then John stood there and laughed,” according to court records.
9Wants To Know obtained court records from Jefferson County that show Vasquez was arrested for domestic violence against the same victim in October 2015.
The victim had a protection order against Vasquez after the incident, but that has since been modified to allow for full contact between the two, according to the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office.
The domestic violence incident centered around a fight where Vasquez threw the victim’s TV and she locked him out of the house. They had just started dating at the time.
When interviewed after the latest incident, Vasquez said he woke up in the morning and was trying to start a fire in the fire pit for breakfast and “the next thing he knew the victim was on fire.”
Vasquez told investigators after the fire was put out, he helped the victim into his car and waited for medics to arrive.
The victim’s two boys are in the care of their father.
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