MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minneapolis man was charged with attempted murder and assault after he allegedly strangled a woman and lit her on fire.
The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday Richard Edwin Bullock, 46, was charged with one count each of of second-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault resulting in bodily harm and second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon. The charges altogether carry a maximum sentence of 47 years in prison.
The criminal complaint says police were first made aware of the incident when they were called to North Memorial Hospital Tuesday on a report of a woman who had been lit on fire. Officers observed severe burns on her body and injuries that were consistent with assault.
Upon investigation, authorities learned the victim had been with Bullock inside an RV, which was parked near 5100 Colfax Avenue North. Between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m., a witness inside the residence said she heard Bullock and the victim begin to fight. The witness entered the RV, where she found Bullock and the victim sitting at a table, drinking.
The complaint states that Bullock then abruptly got up and addressed the victim about “disrespecting” him, and began to punch the victim several times in the face. The complaint then states that Bullock allegedly grabbed the victim by the throat and strangled her until she would be rendered unconscious. Bullock allegedly went on to strangle the victim four times, while saying to her, “You feel that [expletive], that’s your life leaving your body.”
Bullock then allegedly reached for a metal object, hitting the victim in her head and body. The complaint states Bullock then told the victim he was going to light her on fire, and proceeded to douse the victim in rubbing alcohol and use a lighter to light her on fire. Bullock attempted to extinguish the flames by dumping water on her and taking her clothes off.
The victim and the witness said they both were pleading with Bullock to stop during the assault.
The victim was able to escape from the RV and drive herself to North Memorial Hospital. When she arrived, she was completely nude, with her hair and body still smoldering.
After the victim left the scene, Bullock followed the witness back inside the residence where he allegedly told her, “Cross me and you can get the same.” That’s when he allegedly pulled out a pink handgun and pointed it at the witness’ head and threatened to kill her and her family. Before Bullock made arrangements for someone to pick him up at the residence to leave, he told the witness, “You’re a witness, you will not make it to trial to testify against me.”
Bullock took off running after officers found him exiting a home on the 5400 block of Logan Avenue North. When officers apprehended Bullock, they found burns and blisters on his hands. A search warrant of the home revealed a pink handgun and other property belonging to Bullock.
Bullock remains in police custody. His first court appearance is scheduled for Thursday.
The condition of the victim is unknown.