A San Joaquin County man is in grave condition after lighting himself on fire in a parked car off Floyd Avenue early this morning, authorities said.
Police said that just after 7 a.m., a woman reported hearing a popping noise outside of her house on Counts Court, according to Lt. Jolene Gonzalez of the Modesto Police Department.
When she looked out, she saw a vehicle engulfed in flames in a nearby driveway. She grabbed a fire extinguisher and started heading toward it when a 43-year-old man, who police identified as Brian Judd of Lathrop, emerged from the driver’s seat.
His body was in flames from the waist up, Gonzalez said. The woman sprayed the man with the fire extinguisher.
Emergency crews arrived, and Judd was taken to a nearby hospital before being flown to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento.
Police believe the man was despondent over a failed relationship. He was currently wanted by Modesto police for stalking and restraining order violations, according to Sgt. Brian Findlen.
Gonzalez said it's believed the suicide attempt was some sort of retaliatory action.
The man had apparently driven into the neighborbood a short time before the incident, police said. Officers could smell gasoline odors as first responders began to render medical aid.