Charges: Maplewood woman set woman on fire with gasoline

A Maplewood, Minn. woman is being charged with assault for allegedly setting another woman on fire in St. Paul Monday afternoon. 

St. Paul police officers responded to an assault on the 700 block of Conway Street around 12:30 p.m., where they found a 28-year-old woman with severe burns to her upper torso, arms and legs. 

Witnesses told police Laurel Lee Sykes, 32, had been arguing with the victim about a man they were both seeing. Sykes reportedly left the apartment where the argument was taking place and returned with a can of gasoline. She poured the gasoline into a cup, lit the cup on fire and threw it at the victim, who became engulfed in flames.

The victim was taken to Regions Hospital, where she remains intubated and under sedation as a result of her injuries.

Officers located and arrested Sykes in front of 692 Wilson Street. She told police she and the victim had been arguing at a friend’s apartment when, at one point, the victim knocked over a gas can and a cigarette ignited the gasoline. Sykes claimed she tried to help put the flames out, but the victim ran upstairs.

Sykes is being charged with first degree assault.