Curtis Reed doused his girlfriend's son with lighter fluid and set him on fire early yesterday morning, police say.
Reed, 54, was arrested for setting fire to Antoine Willis, his girlfriend's 19-year-old son. Reed is suspected of sneaking up on Willis while the teenager slept on a couch in his mother's St. Paul home. The fire left Willis with second- and third-degree burns, sending him to Regions Hospital and Reed to Ramsey County Jail.
Police think the burning was the fallout from an earlier fight, but it wasn't like Reed was just getting to know his girlfriend's son: One witness says Reed had been dating Willis's mother for eight years, and living with the family for three.
Another person close to the family told the Pioneer Press Reed had recently lost his job as a union steward in St. Paul.
Antoine Willis's uncle Jeff Stewart told the Press that Willis worked part-time on construction jobs, and didn't have insurance.
"My sister's completely in shock," Stewart said.
Police responded to a call that came in before 7 a.m. Stewart said Reed was the only person awake in the whole house at the time he set Willis on fire.
After a 2008 incident, Reed was charged with fifth-degree assault, with intent of bodily harm or death, and eventually pleaded guilty to domestic abuse for violating a no-contact order.