MIAMI (WSVN) - Police have arrested a man who, they said, set his wife on fire in a parking lot in Plantation, Monday morning.
The subject has been identified as 47-year-old Noel Garcia.
The woman, identified by her mother as Heilyn Hernandez Pages, was transported to Broward General in critical condition. She was later taken to the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Burn Center, and according to her family, she is currently listed in critical but stable condition.
According to Plantation Police, this was a domestic dispute that led to Garcia waiting for his wife outside of the mattress shop where she works, in the Plantation Center parking lot, located at 7139 W. Broward Blvd.
Investigators said, just after 8 a.m., the victim pulled into the parking lot in her red, two-door Honda Accord. Garcia then pulled her out of her vehicle and doused her with a flammable substance.
“I don’t know the circumstances as to why he did what he did,” said Plantation Police Detective Philip Toman. “Apparently he was waiting for her in the parking lot … He approached her and there was some type of argument, and then he poured a liquid over her and set her on fire.”
Police said Garcia then fled the scene in a white Ford F-350.
Garcia was arrested at the Plantation Promenade, near Nob Hill Road and Cleary Boulevard, after calling police to surrender, at around 11:30 a.m. Witnesses called 911.
An eyewitness told 7News he spotted Garcia dumping some sort of liquid from his truck at the location where he was apprehended. “I saw him pouring something out, like gasoline or something, on that pole over there” said Ross Fatahi. “It was really weird. We didn’t see much. We just looked at him and went inside the restaurant.”
Back at the scene of the incident, onlookers were shocked by the crime. “That is crazy right there. I’ll never understand that,” said one man.
“I just think, what a shame,” said another man. “They could have worked it out some other way, like marriage counseling or something.”
Other passers-by said this is an unfortunate case of domestic violence. “Very horrible. You know, domestic violence is a real thing,” said one woman. “It’s very important to put this guy in jail.”
“That’s not a man. That’s less than a man,” said another woman.
7News cameras captured a handcuffed Garcia, wearing a white jumpsuit, as he is taken into the Broward County Jail to be booked, at around 5 p.m. He is being held without bond and faces a long list of charges including attempted murder.
Police continue to investigate.
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