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Suspect accused of lighting sleeping man on fire in Medford

Police say that a 22-year-old transient man lit another man on fire while he slept earlier this week.

Posted: Sep 17, 2020 4:36 PM
Updated: Sep 17, 2020 4:39 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. — The Medford Police Department says that it has taken a man into custody after he allegedly lit a sleeping man on fire earlier this week.

Shortly before 4 a.m. on Tuesday, a 54-year-old man reported that he woke up in flames, receiving burns to his body. Medford Police responded to investigate, finding that the victim had been sleeping in an alley in the 100-block of S Grape Street when someone lit the bottom of his blanket on fire, the flames spreading to his clothes.

The victim put the fire out with his hands, sustaining third-degree burns on his hands in feet. He was taken to the hospital and remains in stable condition.

"Video surveillance captured the event, which showed a male approach the sleeping victim and intentionally light the victim’s blanket on fire with a lighter and some paper," Medford Police said. "The suspect watched as the flames increased, before walking away."

Police said that the suspect's clothes were "distinct," and that information went out to other officers. On Wednesday afternoon, just after 3 p.m., an officers found a man wearing the same clothing in Hawthorne Park.

"The male was confirmed to be the same male in the video. He was interviewed and lodged in jail on several crimes," MPD said. "There is no known connection between the victim and suspect."

The suspect was identified as 22-year-old transient Brandon Nathaniel Lyon. He has been charged with Attempted Murder in the Second Degree, Assault in the First Degree, and Arson in the First Degree.

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