Man charged after allegedly setting woman on fire

Ray Charles Jackson (Feb. 13, 2015)

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — A man has been formally charged with three assault charges after he allegedly set his girlfriend on fire during an argument.

According to testimony in a probable cause hearing, Ray Charles Jackson and the victim were fighting at about 2 a.m. Friday, she was trying to end their relationship.  The verbal argument, allegedly became physical.

“Throughout the the course of the argument Jackson had doused her with a bottle of rubbing alcohol, but prior to that he had actually grabbed her by the neck and began to strangle her to the point where she could not breathe,” said Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety detective Christina Ellis during the probable cause hearing.

The confrontation continued, Ellis testified, she said the victim did try to call 911 during the fight, but Jackson allegedly knocked her phone out of her hand.

“[Jackson] did pull out a knife from his pocket and threatened that he was going to kill her. When she asked if he was going to stab her, he said no he was going to burn her. At that point he had already doused the rubbing alcohol on her, and had took out a device and was able to light her on fire,” said Ellis.

The victim was able to leave the apartment, and the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety received a 911 call around 2:15 a.m. indicating that an ambulance was needed in the 900 block of Douglas Avenue.

The 44-year-old victim was able to extinguish the fire herself by removing her shirt. She received first and second degree burns to her upper torso and face. Her hair was also singed.

Jackson fled the home after the incident and was located by officers in the 700 block of Mabel Street where he was arrested for assault with intent to do great bodily harm.

A probable cause hearing for Jackson found to move forward with charges of assault with intent to do great bodily harm, strangulation, assault with a dangerous weapon and interfering with electronic communications.

The Criminal Investigation Division is still investigating this incident. Anyone with information is asked to contact Kalamazoo Public Safety at 269.337.8994 or Silent Observer at 269.343.2100.

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