A 48-year-old man who was walking along University Avenue late Tuesday night reportedly refused to give any information to law enforcement officials who had stopped to help before the man reportedly set himself on fire.
The incident happened just before midnight in the 1300 block of University Avenue, near Zia Middle School. According to reports, Gaspar Ayala-Arellano was seen walking alone and carrying a gas can when a Mesilla marshal stopped to offer help.
According to the marshal, Arellano refused to identify himself. The marshal called for assistance of the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department, who sent additional units.
After deputies arrived, Arellano allegedly pulled out a knife and began to make threats toward officers. Deputies said Arellano allegedly threw the knife at the marshal, striking her in the leg. She was reportedly not injured in the incident.
Arellano then took the gas can and doused himself before using a lighter to ignite the gasoline. Deputies were able to extinguish the fire before medical units arrived.
Arellano was then transported to Memorial Medical Center where he was treated and released to the Doña Ana County Detention Center, where he is being held without bond on charges of aggravated assault on a peace officer.
Information from Dona Ana County