CRIME
05/09/2014 04:56 pm ET

Joel Lonzaga Says He Had To Set Friend On Fire: Cops

A Hawaii man is in critical condition after a day hanging out with a friend that went terribly wrong.

Forty-four-year-old Joel Lonzaga was arrested for attempted murder after he allegedly doused his friend, Tracy Carroll, 47, with gasoline and set him on fire.

Arresting officers reported Lonzaga saying that he had to do it. “He was going to kill me and my family,” Lonzaga allegedly said.

After a day of drinking at Lonzaga’s mother’s home on Oahu, the two men began to argue late Wednesday evening. According to police, Lonzaga grabbed a plastic container filled with gasoline and poured it over Carroll. Lonzaga’s mother and another relative attempted to break up the fight, but Lonzaga threw a match at the other man setting him aflame.

All of a sudden, he was on fire, so when I got there to help him, you can smell gasoline,” neighbor Edi Schadwill told KHON. “They were putting him out with the hose and getting him to roll over.”

Members of Lonzaga's family and bystanders were able to smother the flames, but Carroll, who suffered second- and third-degree burns on more than 40 percent of his body, remains in critical condition at a local hospital.

Lonzaga was also arrested on two separate drug crimes but has not yet been charged.

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