A man who allegedly caught himself on fire last week as he tried to burn another man in his bathtub has been charged with aggravated arson and aggravated assault in connection with the incident.
Brian Anthony Michael Thomas, 24, appeared via a jailhouse broadcast before Sedgwick County District Court Judge Warren Wilbert on Tuesday – four days after his arrest – to hear a formal reading of the charges against him.
Thomas was booked into Sedgwick County Jail at 8:38 p.m. Friday under suspicion of two counts of attempted aggravated arson, as well as indirect contempt, booking records show. He’s accused of bursting into an apartment at 920 N. Broadway around 5 a.m. on June 20 and trying to throw gasoline on a 38-year-old while he bathed.
But instead of igniting his victim, he reportedly set his own clothes afire, police said last week.
According to the complaint filed in court, three people – two males and a female – were “in a substantial risk of bodily harm” as a result of Thomas’ actions that day.
Thomas, who wrote in a court document that he is married and works at a local construction company, faces two counts of aggravated assault and one count of aggravated arson for the crime. He has requested a court-appointed attorney.
After court, the judge reprimanded a young woman for speaking out of turn during Thomas’ hearing. In a later interview with the Eagle, the 22-year-old woman, who said she is Thomas’ wife, explained that she was surprised that the judge set her husband’s bond at $150,000 and wanted to plead for a reduced amount on his behalf.
“We’re good people,” said the tearful woman, who asked not to be named out of concern for her safety. She said she did not know until Monday her husband had been jailed and claimed the incident stemmed from threats made over a $40 dog-sitting debt owed by the couple.
“He was just doing this out of protection for me,” she said of her husband.
Thomas remained in jail late Tuesday night. His preliminary hearing is set for 9 a.m. July 9 in Judge Terry Pullman’s courtroom.