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Suspect in custody after woman set on fire in Waukesha, leading to school lockouts

Posted at 11:12 AM, Sep 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-02 18:50:48-04

WAUKESHA — Waukesha Police arrested a man for attempted homicide after they say he set a woman on fire while she was out walking her dogs. Officers had been searching for the man for more than three hours after the Wednesday morning attack.

It lead to Waukesha Schools being placed on a “lock out” most of the morning. No one was allowed in or out of the building while police searched for the suspect.

Neighbors on Lake Street near Broadway in Waukesha say they heard a horrific yell as they were getting ready for work.

“You just hear bloody murder screaming,” said Daniel Finn.

Erin Duffy was on her porch looked over to see a woman screaming and running down the street.

“I saw her holding her holding her arms crossed, yelling for her dogs and screaming for help,” said Duffy.

Erin says the woman was badly burned on both of her arms. The victim ended up in Duffy’s yard calling out for her loose dogs.

“Every morning and every day she walks her dogs. And somebody passed her and she said she heard them turn around and she thought somebody was throwing a bottle until she realized it was more than a bottle. It was gasoline,” said Duffy.

Duffy said that’s when the man lit the woman on fire. Her arms were badly hurt.

“It was just peeling skin and burns,” said Duffy.

Police came and rushed the woman to the hospital. She is now in a burn unit. Neighbors who regularly see the woman on their street hope she can heal.

“She is a quiet person and she’s nice. And we want her to know we love and support her,” said Fred Hess.

Waukesha Police have the suspect in custody. They are looking into a second suspicion fire in the Village of Waukesha but say they do not know if it is related to this incident.

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