RACINE — A 22-year-old Racine man faces a felony charge after a restraining order violation where he allegedly doused a relative with gasoline and threatened to set him on fire.
Prajit P. Patel is charged with a felony count of physical abuse of an elderly person and misdemeanor disorderly conduct after his arrest earlier this month.
The felony charge carries a maximum possible prison term of 12 years, six months, and a $25,000 fine.
The criminal complaint: physical abuse of the elderly, restraining order violation
Racine Police were called to a city residence on March 5, at about 1 a.m., in reference to a report of a possible restraining order violation.
Police spoke with the victim, who stated he had a restraining order against the defendant, his grandson. The victim also told officers that Patel had entered his home, assaulted him, and poured gasoline on him. Police noted the victim “smelled heavily of gasoline and had wet clothing.”
The victim told police he had come home around 12:50 a.m. and saw the defendant in his home. When the victim told Patel he could not be there because of the restraining order, the defendant allegedly began to choke him with both hands before he pushed him down, the complaint states. The victim said he was struck in the chest and ribs five or six times.
Once Patel got off the victim, he allegedly grabbed a gas can out of the kitchen and poured gasoline on him. The victim stated that his grandson pulled a lighter from his pocket and began “flicking it.” Fearing for his life, the victim said he then ran out the back door and into the garage, where he called the police.
Patel also is charged with misdemeanor obstructing an officer in a separate case, following his arrest 15 days later.
The criminal complaint in that case: expired vehicle registration
A Mount Pleasant Police officer stopped the defendant’s vehicle on March 20 for an expired registration as it traveled southbound on Highway 31 near the intersection of 21st Street.
Patel stated he didn’t have a valid driver’s license or proof of insurance and gave the officer a different first name with the wrong date of birth, the complaint states.
Police later found the defendant’s driver’s license in his back left pocket. Patel allegedly stated, “I was just messing around.”
Patel, who is free on a $5,000 signature bond, is due back in Racine County Circuit Court on April 5, for an 8:30 a.m. preliminary hearing.
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