A 61-year-old man accused of spraying gasoline on a man and lighting him on fire last week remained in county jail Monday.
Las Vegas police arrested Patrick Newell on Wednesday on recommended charges of attempted murder, battery with a deadly weapon and mayhem.
Police said Newell was pumping gas at a south valley convenience store when he and Theodore Bejarano got into an argument.
Police said Newell sprayed Bejarano with gas from the nozzle multiple times and used a lighter to set Bejarano’s clothes on fire.
Bejarano, who didn’t give police a statement, according to Newell’s arrest report, suffered second-degree burns on 10 percent to 15 percent of his body, mainly on his left side and both arms.
The incident occurred shortly before 1 a.m. at a Circle K at 9487 Las Vegas Blvd. South, near Silverado Ranch Boulevard.
According to the report, Bejarano was kicked out of the convenience store for drinking inside. He then asked Newell for a ride.
Newell declined several times. At one point, Newell became so agitated, he took out a pocket knife and threatened to cut Bejarano.
He then went inside the convenience store and told the clerk Bejarano was harassing him. Newell asked the clerk to call police.
When Newell went outside to pump gas, Bejarano approached him again. Newell then sprayed Bejarano’s shirt and eyes with gasoline.
Bejarano wiped off the gasoline, recovered and again approached Newell. Newell sprayed Bejarano a second time and pushed him to the ground. He took out a lighter and told Bejarano he would "light him."
Bejarano stood up and refused to leave. That’s when Newell lit Bejarano’s shirt on fire.
Several witnesses heard the argument and saw Newell set Bejarano on fire.
When Newell spoke with police, he admitted taking out a knife, pushing Bejarano and then lighting him on fire.
He told police Bejarano was overreacting because he was barely burned.
He also believed he "reacted as most people would react."
Newell’s next court date is scheduled for Oct. 25.
Contact reporter Antonio Planas at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-4638.