KATY- Thanksgiving was marred for a Katy neighborhood.
“And my neighbor, she was on fire from the backside up, and she was ripping her clothes off” says Carri Bulthuis.
We’re not identifying the victim, but can tell you, she’s 52 years old, has a teenage son, and is currently separated from her husband.
Police say the man who doused her with rubbing alcohol and set her on fire is the victim’s boyfriend, 41 year old Jose Hernandez. “She told my daughter that he threw rubbing alcohol on her and caught her on fire… and set her on fire” says Bulthuis.
Hernandez has been arrested and charged with aggravated assault. “It’s just really freaky, and you know, it’s Thanksgiving and that’s not supposed to happen to anybody" Bulthuis says.
The victim is at Memorial Hermann Hospital being treated for first, second and third degree burns. According to her husband, who was home this morning, sorting through the contents of her car, she’ll survive, “She’ll live. As far as I know” he tells us.
Neighbors tell us the victim was friendly and nice "We've been here for 6 years and they've always been such great neighbors. She’d come over and play with my dogs, just loved to play with my dogs” says Linda, a neighbor.
They also reveal, police have been called to this address before, but the issues involved the victim’s husband, not Hernandez. Another neighbor, Luis tell us, "I do know her and her husband used to have arguments, you know because we used to hear doors being slammed and yelling and things like that.” “Yes, they were having problems but most families do have problems, and I was just hopeful that they could work it out” says Linda.
Domestic violence never takes a holiday. Maisha Colter is the Director of Litigation for Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse, and wants people to know,“Domestic violence is a criminal act and there is a way to address it. Don't be afraid to speak out and get the help that is out there, available to you."
If you need help, call AVDA (Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse) hotline (713) 224-9911.