North Vancouver man still in coma, another in custody after fire fight
A 56-year-old North Vancouver man remains in a coma with serious burns to half his body after he was doused with camp fuel and set on fire Saturday afternoon.
His acquaintance, a 34-year-old North Vancouver man, stands charged with one count of attempted murder.
The North Vancouver RCMP say they responded to a complaint from two witnesses of a fight in progress in the 700 block of Old Lillooet Road, in a field just west of the Holiday Inn, at approximately 4 p.m. on Aug. 4.
By the time police arrived, fire and ambulance services were already on scene preparing to transport the badly burned man to the burn unit at Lions Gate Hospital, where he remained in a drug-induced coma on Tuesday.
The field where the victim was found contains what appears to be a hidden homeless camp with a tent and cooking area where police say the two men had been drinking before the fight broke out.
"It looks like someone had been living there and we're trying to determine whether [the victim] was part of the camp," Cpl. Richard De Jong of the North Van RCMP told The Outlook on Tuesday.
The two men who were drinking were with at least two other people who called the police when the fight broke out.
"It might have been about finances, that's what we're hearing," De Jong said of the cause of the argument.
The suspect fled the scene after setting the victim alight, but De Jong said witnesses helped police track the man down quickly.
"We had a warrant for his arrest and arrested him within 24 hours," De Jong said.
The victim is expected to remain in a coma for three to five days to speed up his recovery, De Jong said.
"He probably will survive, but with 50 per cent burns to the body, will need a lot of medical care for quite a while," he added.
The names of the victim and the suspect have not been released and the RCMP investigation is ongoing.