City Times Staff
A Nelsonville man was in Portage Co. Court this week to face accusations he burned another man’s face using lighter fluid and a lighter.
Drake Pearson, 18, allegedly sprayed a bottle of lighter fluid into the air near an 18-year-old male friend, also lighting the liquid with a lighter. The flames hit the 18-year-old man in the face as he was working on a truck at his home.
Police were called as the man was being treated at Ministry St. Michael’s. Hair on the right side of his head, including an eyebrow and mustache, had been burned away.
In a statement given to deputies, Pearson said he did not intend to harm the victim, only scare him by aiming the flames over the man’s back. According to the criminal complaint, the man alleges Pearson chastised him for reacting to the pain of the burn, at which point the man punched him “a couple of times” in the head.
Pearson gave a different account, saying the man punched him after Person leaned over to see if the man was injured following the incident.
An emergency department doctor told deputies the victim had first-degree to his face but did not expect any permanent damage.
Pearson faces up to ten years in prison if convicted of second-degree recklessly endangering safety. He returns to court Oct. 5.