Police found a bucket, a fuel-soaked rag and a lighter at the crime scene.
But Thelonious Haley said the object that came flying at him looked more like a ball of fire — one that was tossed at him just before 6 a.m. on Nov. 28 in Galveston, Texas, Click2Houston reports.
“It was just a fireball coming at him, is all he remembers,” Galveston Police Captain Joshua Schirard told KTRK. “He was doused with some sort of accelerant and then lit on fire.”
Haley told police that he knew who threw the fireball, too: His ex-girlfriend Nancy Allen, 50, the Houston Chronicle reports.
Her motivation? Haley said that he, Allen and his current girlfriend had gotten into an argument at his apartment earlier, and that Allen had been told to get out because she had tossed a beer can at the new girlfriend, the Chronicle reports.
But later that day, she came back, Haley said. Allen then cut the power to Haley’s apartment so that he would have to go outside to turn it back on, Haley said — and once he’d been lured out of the apartment, she tossed the ball of fire. Haley said Allen had cut the power at his breaker box before to get him out of the apartment, the Houston Chronicle reports.
After he’d been set on fire, Haley called the police himself.
“Hey, somebody just put me on fire,” Haley told emergency dispatchers, WISN reports. “I’m hurt, man.”
When first responders arrived, some of Haley’s clothes were still on fire, the Galveston Daily News reports. Burns to Haley’s face and hands were serious, but not life-threatening.
After a week on the run, police arrested Allen on Dec. 4, according to Galveston County Jail records. Allen is being held at the Galveston County Jail on $250,000 bond. She’s been charged with aggravated assault with a weapon, jail records said.
Allen had called police on Monday night to turn herself in, KTRK reports. But by the time police got there, Allen had pushed her way into a stranger’s apartment, alarming the resident and her four children.
“We were all in here scared,” Brandy Wilson told the TV station. “We didn't know what to do.”
Haley sustained severe burns, his girlfriend and hospital staff told police. He had to get skin grafts at the University of Texas hospital in Galveston, according to the Chronicle.
Allen did community service in 2016 for dumping lighter fluid on Haley while the two were arguing, and telling him “Ima douse you,” according to court records reviewed by the Chronicle. Allen also pleaded guilty to turning off Haley’s power three times in May, court records said.
Haley was released from the hospital Dec. 5 following skin grafts and surgery, KTRK reports.