Man Arrested For Allegedly Dousing Woman With Gas, Lighting Her On Fire
A Pomona man was arrested on Sunday for allegedly dousing a woman with gasoline before lighting her on fire and killing her.
Police had been searching for Clarence Duwell Dear, 51, since Christmas Day when Dawn Hensley, 41 was killed. Authorities arrested Dear on Sunday after they received a tip that he was seen getting onto a Metro bus at Foothill Boulevard and Halstead Street in Pasadena, the Pasadena Star-News reports. He's being held in jail in lieu of a $1-million bail, and is expected to appear in court on Tuesday.
The grisly incident took place around 1:45 p.m. on Dec. 25 at the home Dear and Hensley shared together in the 1500 block of Cordova Street in Pomona. Dear and Hensley got into an argument before the fight became physical, according to authorities. Pomona Police Department said in a statement that Dear allegedly "chased the victim from their residence and was able to douse the victim with gasoline. The suspect then ignited the victim, possibly with a lit cigarette."
"Neighbors who saw the victim run from the residence engulfed in flames rendered assistance as she collapsed on the street and remained with her until L.A. County fire personnel arrived," Pomona police Sgt. Bert Sanchez told Fox 11. "The victim was treated for severe burns and was transported to a local hospital where she died shortly thereafter as a result of her injuries."
Although authorities have not released a motive for the attack, Sanchez told the Pasadena Star-News that the incident stemmed from what appeared to be a domestic dispute. There are differing reports on their relationship, as to whether they were married or dating. Pomona police Sgt. Matt Stone told LAist that authorities are trying to figure that part out right now, and whether it was a common law marriage.
"It was so sad, so sad, it was unbelievable when it happened," neighbor Perry Sanford, who knew the couple for more than a year, told Fox 11. "I couldn't believe it. But, who knew. It just went down so tragic. It's just sad. It's real sad."
He added that Dear had recently helped him change a tire. "Wow, you'd never think this guy was... wow. It really screwed everyone up when it went down."