Man Accused of Setting Woman on Fire: Police

WARNING - GRAPHIC VIDEO: The victim is a 34-year-old woman, police said

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A man was arrested for drenching his son's mother in gasoline, setting her ablaze and then chasing her with a long knife at a gas station Monday, Boynton Beach Police said. Kimberly Perez told NBC 6 the man was a nice neighbor. (Published Monday, Jun 11, 2012)

    A man was arrested for drenching his son's mother in gasoline, setting her ablaze and then chasing her with a long knife at a gas station Monday, Boynton Beach Police said.

    Roosevelt Mondesir, 52, faces a charge of attempted first-degree murder for the attack on the 34-year-old woman, according to the probable cause affidavit.

    GRAPHIC VIDEO: Woman Set on Fire In Boynton Beach

    [MI] GRAPHIC VIDEO: Woman Set on Fire In Boynton Beach
    WARNING - GRAPHIC VIDEO: Raw Surveillance video of a woman being set on fire in Boynton Beach. Roosevelt Mondesir was arrested for drenching his son's mother in gasoline and setting her ablaze, Boynton Beach Police said. (Published Monday, Jun 11, 2012)

    Police said they responded to a 7-Eleven at 7088 Lawrence Road and found the woman with severe burns to her face and body, the affidavit said. Parts of her shirt were still on fire on the ground.

    Surveillance video shows the woman running into the convenience store, screaming as she tries to shut the front door. She can be heard telling a man to leave her alone, and then a man pulls her out of the store. Moments later she runs by outside ablaze.

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    She had driven to the gas station in her Mercedes to meet Mondesir, her son's father, for their "time-sharing exchange," the affidavit said. She told authorities that she shares custody of their 4-year-old son with him, the affidavit said.

    As she waited at the gas pumps in her car, he arrived in a Jaguar, and she realized her son was not in the car, the affidavit said. She wanted to get back in her car to leave, but he got out of his car with a red gas can and began dousing her body and car with gasoline, according to the report.

    She ran from him but was chased down, and at some point he threw fire on her, engulfing her in flames, the report said.

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    She started to extinguish the fire, took off her shirt and then saw that he had a long knife. He began to chase her inside the convenience store, but she tried to hold the doors shut as the staff called police, the affidavit said. Mondesir then fled, leaving his car at the gas station, the report said.

    At 5:45 a.m. police found him hiding in the bushes and arrested him.

    "The defendant did willfully and intentionally come prepared with gasoline and an ignitor to commit the act of arson to the victim. The defendant did in fact come prepared with a large knife that he did in fact retrieve from his car in an attempt to use on the victim," the report said.

    The woman is recovering from wounds to her face and body at Delray Medical Center, which said she is expected to survive.

    Neighbors said the woman and Mondesir lived together until recently, when she moved out of the home they had been sharing.

    "He was nice. Yesterday he came over. He was fine," neighbor Kimberly Perez said. "And when I heard about it, I was like, that’s not him, that’s not the person I thought he was."

    The woman asked for a protective order in court on May 29, writing that Roosevelt cut up furniture and threw all her belongings around the house, and threatened to hurt her and put her out of their home, according to Palm Beach County court records.

    "Police have been called to the house on many times. On March 26 he hit me and I hit him back and was arrested," she wrote.

    A judge turned down her request, saying there was insufficient evidence, according to the court records.