A preliminary hearing was held Wednesday for a man accused of setting his girlfriend on fire last February in Oceanside.
Ricardo Gonzalez’s former girlfriend took the stand at the hearing and chose to plead the fifth.
“[The girlfriend] ran into the house screaming, saying that Ricardo was setting things on fire, that the house was on fire and that her back… [was] on fire,” Oceanside police officer Ann O’Neill testified.
Gonzalez’s girlfriend told police officer Robert Moore that Gonzalez had accused her of cheating and they had been fighting in the garage when he suddenly began to choke her.
“The altercation escalated with him grabbing her neck and essentially taking her down to the ground of the garage,” Moore stated. “With Mr. Gonzalez’s hands around her neck… [he] began to choke her with both hands to the point that she was having difficulty breathing.”
He then lit her on fire, according to the statement she gave to the officer, and ran off down the street.
The girlfriend was taken to the hospital with significant burns.
The defense alluded that the victim had been smoking meth, which may have contributed to her catching fire.
Gonzalez’s trial is scheduled for July 26.