NJ friends burned man in demented ‘prank’ then blamed it on vape accident
Two men from Atlantic County will be sentenced in February after pleading guilty to intentionally burning someone they were hanging out with.
Brandon Perez, 23, of Hammonton, and David Sult, 24, of the Mays Landing section of Hamilton, admitted that on March 15, while hanging out with a group of people at a home, they decided to amuse themselves by dousing a sleeping man's back with lighter fluid and setting him on fire.
The flames caused debilitating and disfiguring second-degree burns to about a third of the 27-year-old Brigantine man's body.
The victim later said that he woke up on fire and ran around trying to put it out. He said the men doused him with even more lighter fluid and laughed as he pleaded for help.
After the victim put out the fire by rolling on the ground, he said the others refused to help.
His account on a GoFundMe page raising money for his recovery said "one of the offenders took his car keys and ridiculed him while he begged to return them. The keys were thrown at his scorched body.
"In severe agony, battling physical shock, Raymond managed to drive 40 minutes to his mother’s house. His devastated mother hurried him to the local hospital where he was immediately rushed via ambulance to a burn trauma center in center city Philadelphia."
Immediately after the fire, the two men falsely claimed that the fire had been accidentally caused by an e-cigarette, prosecutors said.
Perez and Sult are likely to receive five years in prison in the plea deal for the second-degree aggravated assault charge. They would have to serve at least 85% of their sentence before they are eligible for parole. Both remain free until sentencing.
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.