Man charged with threatening to set woman on fire

23-year-old allegedly beat girlfriend before pouring on lighter fluid

Posted: Monday, February 17, 2003

A man awaits arraignment today on a felony assault charge alleging he beat his girlfriend, doused her with lighter fluid and threatened to set her on fire.

Timothy Nelson, 23, was arrested early Sunday in the Salmon Creek area on charges of third-degree domestic violence assault, a felony, and resisting arrest, a misdemeanor.

He is being held without bail at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center. A Juneau grand jury may convene this week to determine whether he will be indicted on the felony charge, police Sgt. Kevin Siska said today. Siska said he was hesitant to give many details of the alleged crime because publicizing them might taint prospective jurors.

In a police press release, Sgt. Ben Coronell, one of the responding officers, said police received a call about a domestic disturbance around 5 a.m. Sunday.

Siska said when police arrived the alleged victim, a 21-year-old woman whose name was not released, was standing outside her apartment. She had numerous bumps and bruises on her head, face, hands and ribs, Coronell said.

She told police Nelson came home early Sunday after being away for several days and the couple started arguing, Siska said. The argument lasted about 20 minutes, and quickly escalated. Police alleged Nelson began striking the woman, then saturated her clothes with lighter fluid and threatened to set her on fire.

Siska did not say how the argument ended, but said Nelson attempted to escape when police arrived and tried to speak with him.

Coronell said the woman was taken to Bartlett Regional Hospital where she was treated and released by late Sunday morning. A spokeswoman for the hospital was unavailable for comment.

If convicted, Nelson could get up to five years in prison for the assault charge and up to one year for the misdemeanor charge.

• Melanie Plenda can be reached

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