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Teen charged with setting person on fire

August 18, 2009 2:56:29 PM PDT
An 18 year old boy is in critical condition with burns covering his legs and back. Police say his so-called friend lit him on fire, just for the fun of it.

Police say 17 year old Arthur Villatore squirted lighter fluid on a friend to intentionally start him on fire at a backyard fire-pit last Saturday night.

"The victim dropped to the ground and rolled attempted to remove his clothing with other people at the scene," Lt. Howard Sullivan of Nassau County police said.

It happened at a house on Mermaid Avenue in Wantagh. Neighbors say there was a block party going on earlier that night, but nothing rowdy.

"There wasn't anything else happening. We had our whole little family here and across the street. Neighbors did too. Nothing else really going on," Terri Fuimefreedo said.

Cops say the block party was licensed and there's no indication the teenagers were drinking, but call this a reckless and stupid act.

"It was more of a spontaneous act to entertain and cause shock and awe," Sullivan said.

Villatores' legal guardian, his aunt, had nothing to say at his arraignment.

The 18 year old remains hospitalized with 2nd and 3rd degree burns.

"I'm horrified to hear something like this in this neighborhood its nice and quiet," Karen Bennett said.

Villatores' attorney says the alleged victim did this to himself by standing too close to the fire. He says his client is innocent.

Villatores is being held on 25-thousand dollars bail.


NEW YORK AND TRI-STATE AREA NEWS

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