It happens more often than you think

While the WPS may publicly choose to call it an “unbelievable event,” it’s simply not true.

History belies the notion that its unusual for Winnipeggers to get set on fire by suspects  like what happened to Gerald Dumas overnight Friday.

“It’s an unbelievable event, really and truly. These things don’t happen very often in our city, thankfully,” said Const. Natalie Aitken, a spokeswoman for Winnipeg police.

—Wpg. Sun

However, this kind of horrific attack typically befalls someone in Winnipeg at least once or twice a year.

(Probably more, but the public just doesn’t know it or hear it).

I guess it all depends on your definition of “very often.”

It’s also happened here and here.

And here and here – with the latter containing this interesting quote from Sgt. Kelly Dennison:

The woman escaped the house with burns to her hands, arms and upper body and wandered about a block before someone found her and called 911, police spokesman Sgt. Kelly Dennison said.

“It’s very disturbing, isn’t it?” said Sgt. Dennison. “It’s not the first time in my career that I’ve dealt with an incident like that.”

There was also another case of a man being set alight downtown for his iPod in late 2008 or early 2009, but damned if I can find a link.

And, horrifically, here as well.

Finally, here’s one from a police press release in May 2005:

10-Year-Old Boy Set on Fire

Around 10:30 p.m. last evening, two male youths and a female youth were playing with lighter fluid in the area of Aberdeen Avenue and McKenzie Street. Three young boys aged 9, 10 and 11 years approached the youths to watch what they were doing.

When asked if they wished to play along, the three young boys declined and the female youth insisted they had no choice in the matter. The youths chased the young boys catching the 10-year-old. The female suspect and the two male suspects held the victim down while spraying his shoes and pants with lighter fluid. The female suspect then lit the lighter fluid and the victim’s shoes and pants caught fire.

There should be a separate aggravated assault charge in the Criminal Code for people who would intentionally try to burn someone else alive.

It should carry a 10 year mandatory minimum, and a trip to hell when they’re dead.

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