Tuesday, August 21st, 2012
Local man reportedly douses girlfriend with gasoline
By Margie Wuebker
A 43-year-old Mendon man faces felony charges after he allegedly poured gasoline on his girlfriend, the family dog and throughout the second-floor apartment they shared.
Charles Williams has been charged with two counts of attempted aggravated arson. He remains incarcerated at the Mercer County Detention Facility on a $500,000 bond subject to 10 percent.
Deputies responded to the apartment at 301 1/2 S. Main St., Mendon, after the female victim ran to a neighbor's home and called authorities shortly after 3 a.m. Saturday.
Williams appeared Monday afternoon in Celina Municipal Court, where Judge James Scheer warned the penalty could be up to 13 years in prison and $25,000 in fines upon conviction. Scheer also noted it was possible the Ohio Parole Authority could place a "holder" on Williams because he is on probation after having served prison time in an unrelated case.
The case will be scheduled for a preliminary hearing to determine whether there is sufficient cause to transfer the matter to Mercer County Common Pleas Court for presentation to grand jurors.
The incident reportedly stemmed from a Friday night argument. The woman went to a neighbor's home,,,,, fearing for her safety, according to Mercer County Sheriff's Office reports. She went back home after Williams left the premises, but he returned. He allegedly followed her into the bathroom, shoved her into a wall and dumped gasoline on her.
Authorities initially evacuated people residing on the first floor of the duplex. A search resulted in the discovery of several areas in the upstairs apartment that had been doused with gasoline. A charred dog toy, also reeking of gasoline, was found outside in the front yard.
No incendiary device was found in Williams' possession at the time of his arrest.