HAPPY VALLEY, Oregon – Police have arrested a man who is suspected of setting another man on fire Wednesday night at a popular Oregon restaurant.
Police said witnesses told them 24-year-old Deshaun Jamme Swanger walked into a Denny's in Happy Valley and sat down. Moments later they said he threw gasoline on a 69-year-old man and lit him on fire with matches.
The victim who is said to be a regular customer of that Denny's, was taken to the hospital where officials said he is in critical condition.
The victim's family identified him as 69-year-old Scott Ranstrom. He is in critical condition at Legacy Emanuel hospital.
“His face was like this big and he’s a skinny guy. And all red, and horrible-looking, burnt to a crisp. He was burnt to a crisp," Ranstrom's sister said. "They did that to my big brother. I don’t think I’ll ever get over it. It’s not fair.”
His family has set up a GoFundMe page to pay for his medical expenses.
Investigators said the two men did not know each other. Detectives believe the incident may be linked to a similar one that happened earlier this week where a man threw gasoline at another man at a movie theater nearby.
That man was not set on fire and police said they do not believe the attacks were hate crimes. Both investigations are ongoing.
Swanger was arrested at a transitional home a few blocks from the restaurant. Officials said he has a lengthy criminal record and was previously convicted of burglary, delivery of marijuana, unauthorized use of a vehicle, criminal trespass, criminal mischief and being a felon in possession of a restricted weapon.