Fight Over Chair Leads to Attempted Murder Charge

A St. Croix man has been charged with attempted murder after dousing another man with gasoline and attempting to light him on fire, the V.I. Police Department reported Monday.

On May 24, at approximately 8:30 a.m., officers were dispatched to Level Up Service Station in reference to an individual making threats with a baseball bat. When officers arrived on scene they met with the complainant and the suspect, Francisco Cruz Santiago, who was holding the baseball bat, according to the police report.

A detective from the Criminal Investigation Bureau assigned to conduct further investigation found that the complainant and Santiago got into an argument over a chair. The argument turned physical when Santiago filled a water bottle with gasoline, doused the complainant and attempted to light him with a lighter. Santiago then put the complainant in a chokehold while covering his nose and mouth until the complainant lost consciousness. A bystander separated the two, and shortly after, the complainant regained consciousness. Santiago returned with a metal baseball bat and attempted to strike the complainant with it, the police report stated.

Santiago, 39, was placed under arrest for attempted murder, assault in the first
degree, and assault in the second degree. His bail was set at $100,000. Santiago was booked and remanded to the John Bell Correctional Facility pending his advice of rights hearing, the report stated.