PENN HILLS (KDKA) – A Penn Hills woman reportedly set her boyfriend on fire while he was asleep and then used urine to put out the flames.
Leigh Ann Sepelyak, 38, is facing multiple charges, including attempted homicide and arson.
Penn Hills Police were called to the home on Lime Hollow Road early Sunday morning for a domestic dispute.
Police say Sepelyak had an argument with her boyfriend late Saturday or early Sunday, and when he went to sleep, she poured gasoline on him, lit a cigarette and flicked it onto the mattress.
“Apparently, when this argument was over, the boyfriend went to sleep on the mattress. They lived in the basement, and for some reason, the young lady decided to dump gasoline on him and set him on fire,” Penn Hills Police Chief Howard Burton told KDKA’s Lisa Washington.
He woke up when he caught fire and jumped out of bed. Sepelyak then grabbed a bucket the couple had been using as a toilet and threw urine on him to put out the flames.
According to police, Sepelyak was living in her parents’ basement with her boyfriend, and they had been using the bucket as a toilet so they wouldn’t have to bother her parents upstairs when they needed to use the restroom.
Her parents heard the boyfriend’s screams during the fire.
Penn Hills Police say the man was taken to UPMC Mercy with burns to 25-30 percent of his body. He was in critical condition on Sunday, but police say his injuries do not appear to be life threatening.
KDKA’s Lisa Washington went to the home Tuesday morning where the incident happened. A mattress and a box spring were near the curb. A woman who said she was Sepelyak’s mother said the boyfriend fell asleep with a cigarette.
The woman told KDKA, “He had a cigarette or something. He fell asleep with a cigarette.”
A man who identified himself as Grady Spencer, the boyfriend of Sepelyak, contacted KDKA via an email.
It reads: “I was tinkering with a weed wacker on my bed drunk as a skunk. I gassed it up, spilled it on myself… lit a cig, layed back on bed and I went up in flames… if she didn’t put it out it would have been worse.”
Spencer told KDKA he is still in the hospital.
Sepelyak was sent to the Allegheny County Jail on Sunday, but posted bail Monday. A preliminary hearing is set for July 17.