Wilmington man arrested for dousing occupied car with gasoline, lighting it on fire

Attempted murder charge

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Wilmington police arrested a man overnight for attempted murder.

At approximately 2:30 a.m. Saturday morning, officers responded to a call of a vehicle on fire in the 2600 block of McClammy Street.

According to the Wilmington Police Department, a 65-year-old male was asleep in the vehicle while it was parked in the driveway. That is when Warren Clarkson, 62, used a fuel can located on the property to douse the vehicle in gasoline.

Car lit on fire
Car lit on fire (Source: WECT)

With the victim still asleep inside, Clarkson set the car on fire and fled the scene. The victim was able to get out before it was too late and suffered minor burns.

The people who own the house say it was a miracle the man was able to get out of the car in time.

“I know the hair on his arms were singed… he had a burn on his face. He got out of the car with the flames like going above his head. He was still in the car when it was set on fire. They were six feet above his head- the flames were going around his head," said homeowners Melissa Bonner and Christopher Reeves.

Clarkson was arrested and charged with attempted murder, burning personal property, possession of drug paraphernalia and carrying a concealed weapon. He is currently being held under a $505,000 secured bond.

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