Modesto police: Man tried to set woman on fire

etracy@modbee.com October 12, 2012 

Nathan Yarbrough

Nathan Yarbrough. Modesto Police officers arrested a distraught male suspect, 45-year-old Nathan Yarbrough, after he tried to light a woman in a wheelchair on fire with lighter fluid and a lighter. (Modesto Police Dept)

UNKNOWN — Modesto Police Dept

— A Modesto man was arrested for allegedly attempting to light a woman on fire, police said Friday.

The victim, who was in a wheelchair, was downtown at 18th and G Streets at about noon Thursday when she was approached by an unknown man, according to police Lt. Rick Armendariz.

The man called the 54-year-old victim "the devil" and then proceeded to pour lighter fluid on her pants.

The suspect had a lighter and was attempting to ignite the woman's pants when her husband approached and scared him away, Armendariz said.

The couple flagged down an officer and gave him a description of the suspect.

It was broadcast over the radio, and a second officer spotted the suspect nearby at 17th and Burney streets.

The suspect was distraught and would not comply with the officer's commands, Armendariz said.

While the officer waited for backup, the suspect pulled out the bottle of lighter fluid and squirted it on the officer's boots.

The officer quickly detained the suspect, Nathan Christopher Yarbrough, 45, without further incident.

Yarbrough was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, elder abuse and assault with a caustic chemical. He could face additional charges related to assaulting the officer, Armendariz said.

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