EXETER >> An Exeter Township man has been arrested after he allegedly doused another man in flammable liquid and set the man on fire.
Eric Capp, 52, has been charged with attempted homicide after he allegedly used a propane torch and flammable liquid to set a victim on fire.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, police received reports on Jan. 2 that there had been a possible methamphetamine lab explosion that occurred at 990 Schoffers Road that resulted in two men being hospitalized. Police said several individuals they spoke to at the scene believed the two men had been burned by a kerosene heater. Another witness who arrived at the scene later stated that he lived in the building and had been present when the incident took place.
The witness said he had been on the second floor and the two men, including Capp had been in the basement. He told officers that the two men had been in a fight and that the victim had been burned by a kerosene heater. He stated that Capp had placed the victim in a bathtub inside Capp’s room in the basement before deciding to drive him to Reading Hospital in West Reading, police said.
Officers were then let into the building and were led to the basement where they found a padlocked door. Once inside, police said they found no signs of a methamphetamine lab or anything being on fire. They also stated that there was no kerosene heater found inside the home.
On Jan. 6, township police went to Lehigh Valley Hospital to speak with the victim. The victim told police that he had gone to the basement of the home because Capp had taken pots and pans. While the two were arguing Capp allegedly turned toward the victim with a pitcher of what the victim at first believed was water. When the liquid began to burn, the victim wiped the liquid from his eyes. Capp then allegedly used a propane torch to ignite the liquid that was dumped on the victim. Capp then began striking the victim with a brass knuckle, according to the affidavit of probable cause.
The victim stated he was eventually helped into the shower to put the flames out but while he was in the shower, Capp came into the bathroom and began striking him again with what he thought were brass knuckles.
Police said the victim told them that Capp eventually agreed to take the victim to the hospital after the victim pleaded for an ambulance. On the way, the victim said, Capp told him to say that it was propane accident. The victim initially agreed so that Capp would take him to the hospital, according to court documents. The victim was later flown to Lehigh Valley Hospital, near Allentown, for treatment of burns.
The victim sustained second and third-degree burns on 21 percent of his body, police said. The burns were located on his head, chest, neck, back , face, arms and hands. He is currently listed in stable condition.
Capp has been charged with attempted homicide, aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, harassment, possession of an instrument of crime with intent and aggravated arson.
He was arraigned on Jan. 11 before District Judge Sandra L. Fegley and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Jan. 24 again before Fegley.
He was unable to post the set $1 million bail and is being held at Berks County Prison.