A Lancaster County man is in critical, but stable condition after Susquehanna Regional Police said another man set him on fire Sunday evening.
Marlin Dyer, Sr. 57, of Marietta, suffered burns on about 50 percent of his body.
Police said a dispute over a woman, name-calling and drinking were contributing factors that led Jeremy Hostetter, 35, of East Donegal Township, to set his friend on fire.
“It just never ceases to amaze me, what can happen, or what extent some people will go to inflict harm on somebody else,” said Lt. Stephen Englert of Susquehanna Regional Police.
Lt. Englert said the men first argued over the phone.
Witnesses said Hostetter then went to Dyer’s house and threatened to burn it down. A short time later, Dyer and a friend got into a truck to track Hostetter down. They found him walking along N. Decatur Street near River Road.
“A confrontation took place at that point and that’s when Hostetter doused and lit the victim on fire,” Englert said.
It happened right by an open field, with not much around, but there were people nearby who rushed over to help.
“They were able to roll the victim on the ground and help extinguish that,” Englert said. “Some of the clothing that had burnt up was actually still smoking and there were a small amount of flames when the first officer arrived.”
A medical helicopter flew Dyer to Johns Hopkins Bayview Burn Unit in Baltimore.
Hostetter faces charges of aggravated assault, criminal attempt at homicide and arson in a case that has horrified Marietta.
“I was astounded. I just can’t believe one human being would do that to another,” said Suzanne Young, who lives right down the road from the crime scene.