Suspect Lights Self on Fire in Row House: Police

Monday, Dec 6, 2010  |  Updated 7:19 PM EDT
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Two U.S. marshals were injured Monday morning while trying to serve a warrant to a man who set himself on fire.

John Schriffen

Two U.S. marshals were injured Monday morning while trying to serve a warrant to a man who set himself on fire.

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A man lit himself on fire as U.S. Marshals Service deputies tried serving a bench warrant Monday morning at a row house in the Logan Circle area of the District, according to law enforcement officials.

The three deputies were in the basement of the row house in the 1200 block of N Street NW to serve a warrant for failure to report in a rape case when a man set himself on fire before 8:15 a.m., officials said. A female deputy caught fire when the suspect grabbed her, NBC Washington's John Schriffen reported. Both the suspect and the deputy suffered severe injuries.

A second deputy suffered less severe injuries while helping the female deputy.

The suspect ran outside, and a third deputy put his coat on him and threw water on him to douse the flames, officials said.

The man and two deputies were transported to local hospitals.

"You never know what's on the other side of that door," Deputy Cole Barnhart said. "Situations like this, not that often, but we try to be prepared for whatever's on the other side of that door."

The 27-year-old suspect, a State Department employee at least as recently as December 2009 with a wife and child, was accused of rape last year, according to court documents. He cooperated with the court for a year until he failed to appear for a pre-trial hearing in the past week, Schriffen reported.

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