Two Rochester teens have been accused of lighting a man on fire Friday afternoon after spraying him with an ignitable liquid.
A 16-year-old boy and a 14-year-old boy were each charged with first-degree assault and attempted second-degree arson, both felonies, in connection with the attack, said Capt. Frank Umbrino of the Rochester Police Department. The two teens’ names were not released due to their age.
The case is being handled by Monroe County Youth Court.
The teens are accused of lighting a man in his 50s on fire as the man was sitting on a chair inside his apartment on Friday, Umbrino said.
The man, whose name was not released, suffered severe second-and third-degree burns over 70% of his body. He was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital, where he is in critical condition and “is fighting for his life” in the hospital’s Burn Trauma Unit, Umbrino said.
The man does not have any local family, Umbrino said, adding that police “are still attempting to contact potential family members out of state.”
Umbrino said officers are still investigating how the teens and man knew each other. He said he can confirm that the two are not related and that the encounter was not a domestic violence incident.
The elder teen was arraigned over the weekend and the younger boy was arraigned Monday. Both boys were taken into custody on Friday.
Authorities are still investigating how the teens knew the victim and are searching for any additional witnesses or suspects in the case.
“The investigation is underway to determine if this is an intentional criminal act or an accident,” Rochester police told WROC-TV, adding, “this is an active investigation.”