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Swordsman in flames

Confrontation in Borrego Springs leads to mobile-home blaze

A Borrego Springs man was hospitalized with severe burns Wednesday night, January 28, following an altercation with a neighbor that ended with the subject setting his mobile home ablaze.

According to a report from sergeant Brian Jenkins, sheriff's deputies were called to a mobile-home park in the northeastern San Diego County community after reports of a "violent dispute between two men, ages 65 and 54, during which one of the men brandished a small sword."

The two men fought over possession of the sword, with each suffering minor injuries before retiring to their respective homes. Deputies arriving on the scene first contacted the unnamed 54-year-old because they believed he was the victim of an assault with a deadly weapon.

Approaching the home of the older combatant, also unnamed, deputies confronted the man and ordered him to come forward. Instead, he "brandished a knife, ran inside, tipped over a gasoline can, spread the gas around, and it ignited, engulfing the man and the front porch."

Deputy Alvin Vasquez attempted to enter the residence but was prevented from doing so by the growing flames, which eventually began to ignite rounds of live ammunition.

The suspect eventually crawled to the front door and, though his clothing was still on fire, Vasquez was able to pull him to safety. After first aid was administered, he was flown to a hospital for treatment of burns covering a large portion of his body. Bomb and arson detectives have since taken over the investigation.

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A Borrego Springs man was hospitalized with severe burns Wednesday night, January 28, following an altercation with a neighbor that ended with the subject setting his mobile home ablaze.

According to a report from sergeant Brian Jenkins, sheriff's deputies were called to a mobile-home park in the northeastern San Diego County community after reports of a "violent dispute between two men, ages 65 and 54, during which one of the men brandished a small sword."

The two men fought over possession of the sword, with each suffering minor injuries before retiring to their respective homes. Deputies arriving on the scene first contacted the unnamed 54-year-old because they believed he was the victim of an assault with a deadly weapon.

Approaching the home of the older combatant, also unnamed, deputies confronted the man and ordered him to come forward. Instead, he "brandished a knife, ran inside, tipped over a gasoline can, spread the gas around, and it ignited, engulfing the man and the front porch."

Deputy Alvin Vasquez attempted to enter the residence but was prevented from doing so by the growing flames, which eventually began to ignite rounds of live ammunition.

The suspect eventually crawled to the front door and, though his clothing was still on fire, Vasquez was able to pull him to safety. After first aid was administered, he was flown to a hospital for treatment of burns covering a large portion of his body. Bomb and arson detectives have since taken over the investigation.

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