In Nassau, New York, 18-year old Matthew Taylor was arrested on Wednesday after attempting to set fire to a 14-year-old who had accused him of “snitching”. According to Newsday, Taylor cornered the 14-year-old [whose name has not been released] in an apartment building and proceeded to douse him with gasoline he had been carrying in a 20 oz plastic bottle. Taylor then attempted to set the boy on fire using both a cigarette lighter and a road flare, but was unable to produce a spark.
Soaked with accelerant, the 14-year-old fled the apartment building and sought safety at his grandmother’s house down the street, but Taylor gave chase. When the boy reached his grandmother’s house he immediately told her what had happened, and as his grandmother quickly guided him to the shower, Taylor threw gasoline on her door.
Although the finer details of the events that led up to the incident were not divulged, authorities did reveal that both boys had been suspended from school the day prior after becoming involved in a physical altercation. School authorities would not comment on the matter, but the root cause of the skirmish seems to be an allegation made by the 14-year-old that Taylor had “snitched” on his cousin.
Currently, Taylor is being held on $25,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court on Monday to face the charges levied against him which include first-degree reckless endangerment, fourth-degree possession of a dangerous weapon, and endangering the welfare of a child. The 14-year-old was treated for chemical burns at Winthrop University Hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.