HOUSTON – Police are searching for a man accused of setting another man on fire in southeast Houston.
Erick Rodriguez, 18, was charged Friday with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
The incident happened in the 6200 block of Griggs around 7:20 p.m. last Wednesday. Police believe Rodriguez set Victor Fernandez-Lagunas, 28, on fire outside a trailer.
Fernandez-Lagunas was transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital in critical condition with severe burns to his face, chest, arms and stomach.
Police say Rodriguez told officers that Fernandez-Lagunas accidentally set himself on fire after an argument over money owed following a World Cup soccer game, records show.
A witness claims in court records that Fernandez-Lagunas had been sleeping on a patio before he was transformed into a "fireball" after being set on fire. She contends in court records that the only other person present was Rodriguez.
Police say Rodriguez was detained at the scene and was also transported to the hospital for burns to his face and chest. Rodriguez was then interviewed by investigators and released from the hospital pending further investigation.
A Houston Police Department arson investigator recovered a container of gasoline at the scene, according to court documents.
When investigators interviewed Fernandez-Lagunas after surgery, he identified Rodriguez as the suspect, police say.
Police charged Rodriguez on Friday.
Anyone with information on Rodriguez's whereabouts is urged to contact the HPD Major Assaults Unit at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.