Man Attempts to Burn Ex-Wife, Children - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

04/01/05

Man Attempts to Burn Ex-Wife, Children

Officer Ron Videtto Officer Ron Videtto

Police in Beaufort, South Carolina, are asking for your help. They're looking for a man who doused his ex-wife and two children with gasoline and tried to set them on fire.

They're in a safe place right now and didn't receive any major injuries, but if it hadn't been for a police officer passing by at the right time, the outcome could have been a lot worse.

It's been the talk of the town, but neighbors on Bladen Street in Beaufort are keeping quiet after police say Oscar Lane, 42, broke into his ex-wife Trisha Duncan's home and doused her and their two children with gasoline.

"During the process, the ex-husband was telling her, 'Woman, you're going to die,' and attempted to ignite a lighter he had in his hand," said Lt. Carol Smalls with Beaufort PD. "It failed to ignite."

Somehow she was able to break away and run out of the house. That's when a police officer passing by heard her cry.

Officer Ron Videtto told us, "I heard a female screaming. She sounded hysterical. She was screaming, 'Help police, help police.' She came towards my vehicle."

As Duncan got closer, Officer Videtto noticed something unusual. "Her hair was wet, her clothes were wet. I could smell a strong odor of gasoline."

Although Officer Videtto says he was just doing his job, being at the right place at the right time saved this woman and her children. "If I hadn't been there, I don't know what would have happened. It could have been worse. I'm just glad I could stop it before it happened."

Oscar Lane fled the scene when the officer drove up. If you know his whereabouts, please call your local police department.

Reported by: Jaime Dailey, jdailey@wtoc.com

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