Suspect accused of setting man on fire in Asheville arrested


Robert Austin

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WSPA) — Asheville Police Department officials said a man accused of setting another man on fire faces an attempted murder charge, as officers work to identify two possible witnesses in the case.

According to a police department news release, officers arrested Robert Charles Austin, 66, of Asheville just before 2 a.m. Wednesday morning on Tunnel Road.

Austin was charged with attempted first-degree murder after a 58-year-old man was found by police with severe burns early Sunday morning on Tunnel Road.

The victim was taken to Wake Forest Baptist Health Burn Center for treatment. His current condition is unknown.

Police said someone poured an accelerant on the victim before lighting the substance.

Police also need help locating two potential witnesses. Police said they are looking for the drivers of a white GMC Sierra pickup truck and a silver Jeep Liberty SUV. Neither driver is considered a suspect.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Asheville Police Department at 828-252-1110 or CrimeStoppers at 828-255-5050. Tipsters can remain anonymous.

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