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Man Jumps To His Death In Jail After Being Accused Of Lighting His Girlfriend On Fire
A man jumped to his death in San Diego County on Tuesday after spending less than one day in jail for allegedly setting his longtime girlfriend on fire.
Vidal Webb, 41, was arrested on Monday in Poway after he allegedly set his girlfriend of 25 years on fire while she was sleeping early Sunday morning, NBC San Diego reports. After his arrest, he managed to jump from the second floor of the downtown county jail to the day room floor below. Though jail medical staff rushed to save him, he was pronounced dead 20 minutes later at about 10:20 a.m. on Tuesday morning.
The victim's sister, who also lived in the house, and house guests called police early Sunday morning saying that Webb used liquid accelerant and matches to light his girlfriend, whose identity has not been released, on fire. The sister and the guests rushed the victim into the shower to put her out.
An anonymous tip led police to a house in City Heights, where they found Webb had barricaded himself inside. He spent over nine hours in a stand-off with San Diego police before coming out with his hands up near midnight on Monday. He was arrested and charged with attempted murder.
Witnesses said the couple had been fighting recently, though the victim's father told UT San Diego that his daughter never mentioned a fight, and described Webb as "mild-mannered." He said the two met in high school and had stayed together ever since, though they never got married or had any children. While the father said he never noticed a "mean-streak" in Webb, Webb did have two misdemeanor assault convictions against a woman in 1996 and 1998 in North Carolina, plus a string of DUIs.
The woman was taken to UCSD Medical Center's burn unit, where she remains in critical condition. Despite severe burns to over half of her body, her father said her prognosis was good. The house was also damaged in the fire.
If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide: do not leave the person alone, remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt, and call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional.