GANGES TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The police are calling it torture and if the allegations of what a Fennville man did to his girlfriend are true, it would be hard to call it anything else.
The Allegan County sheriff’s says 53-year-old Gregory Alan Marsman poured acid on the face and chest of his girlfriend.
He is jailed on several criminal counts including torture, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
A 54-year-old woman returned to the 66th Street home she shared with her boyfriend around 2 a.m. to find him destroying the inside of the home.
And when she stepped inside, she was in the eye of an abusive storm, police say.
“He had attacked her, tackled her, knocked her to the ground and began pouring acid, or what is believed to be acid, on her face and chest,” Allegan County Undersheriff Frank Baker said.
The suspect has a slew of prior criminal charges, including domestic violence and arson.
Baker said the victim said he was saying some disturbing things as he raged.
“It sounded like he had been making some statements that led us to believe there might be some concern about what his mental state was at the time that this was occurring,” Baker said.
While asking a judge for a warrant, investigators said Marsman was allegedly making statements about the victim’s son being possessed.
Baker said he can’t remember hearing of acid used as a weapon in domestic abuse before. He said she was taken originally to Holland Hospital and then to Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital, where she is being treated.
Baker said in addition to the burns, the victim may have inhaled or ingested the acid.
After the attack, the woman ran across the street to the neighbors whose fast actions, including placing her in the shower, likely kept the situation from being much worse.
Glenn Mears was sleeping early Wednesday morning when his dogs’ barking woke him, his wife, Lisa, and his mother-in-law Donna Crane.
They went to the door and found a 54-year woman with an incredible story.
“She said he came to her room and poured acid all over her, she couldn’t figure out why he did it,” said Donna Crane.
Police say it is likely Muriatic acid was used, which is highly toxic if ingested and can burn exposed flesh, according to poison control experts.
“She was talking, but the smell was so strong, she was breathing that crap, I mean, I didn’t want to be around it, it was that bad,” Glenn Mears said.
Mears said she was clearly in pain as the acid burned her.
“I saw it on her face, you could see the top of your skin, you could see that coming off,” Mears said.
Thinking quickly, Lisa Mears put the woman in the shower and kept her there until emergency personnel arrived.
A move police and rescuers say definitely helped.
The neighbors say they are glad to hear Marsman was arrested in Berrien County where he allegedly had fled in his girlfriend’s car.
“She was a friend and I’m glad somebody got to do something with him,” Crane said.
Marsman is held in the Allegan County Jail and is expected to be in court Thursday where he will be formally charged.