WESTFIELD, N.Y. (WIVB) – Police say a man threw gasoline on his aunt and two vehicles, and set both vehicles on fire.
The incident began around 5:30 p.m. on Monday, according to neighbors. Police say during a domestic dispute, a man who until recently had been living with his aunt threw gasoline on her and two vehicles.
“He had several cans of gasoline, two of which I took away from him. The other ones went back into the house,” said Joshua Caves, a neighbor. “He dumped gas on the Jeep in the process of me trying to get the can from him. And at one point in time, I got the woman away from him. He lit a gas can and threw it at me. Me and my girlfriend took her to our house to get her warm. She said she had woken up to him dumping gas on her and he had lit her feet on fire. She doesn’t know how he got into the house; the house was locked.”
Dakota Pramesa said, “I looked out the window and I saw flames shooting down the side of the car. I was like, ‘Call 911. There’s a car on fire.’ And I kind of figured it was arson after that was on fire, the house was on fire, and everything else was on fire.”
Police and fire crews arrived and extinguished the blaze. Officers say the suspect barricaded himself in the basement of the home, claiming he had a gun.
The Chautauqua County Sheriff’s SWAT team started to mobilize but before SWAT was utilized to defuse the situation, after about an hour, the man was taken into custody. Officers did not locate a weapon in the home.
Reports indicate he was taken to the hospital to be evaluated. Police have not given any indication as to what started the incident.