- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 30, 2006

A Hyattsville man remained in the Prince George’s County Detention Center yesterday on charges of dousing his girlfriend with gasoline and setting her on fire.

Police investigators said Anthony Willoughby, 40, a self-employed landscaper, took the fuel tank off of a gasoline-powered weed trimmer and doused Freda Edwards with the fuel before setting her ablaze about 3 a.m. Saturday.

“We’re not sure whether he poured it on her or threw it at her,” said Cpl. Clinton Copeland, a Prince George’s County Police spokesman.

Police have said the two argued before the attack, although it is not clear what facilitated the dispute.

Miss Edwards had obtained a restraining order against Mr. Willoughby but visited him late Friday at his home in the 2100 block of Ohio Avenue in Hyattsville.

Mr. Willoughby, formerly of Wadesboro, N.C., left home after the incident. He later surrendered to police at the home of a friend.

He was charged with first- and second-degree attempted murder and first- and second-degree assault, Cpl. Copeland said.

Miss Edwards, 39, ran to her family’s Hyattsville home, where a relative placed a 911 emergency call at 3:08 a.m.

She was hospitalized in stable condition at Washington Hospital Center in the District yesterday.

Miss Edwards is being treated in the hospital’s burn unit for second- and third-degree burns to her face, neck and upper body.

The attack was the second such case in Prince George’s County in less than a year.

On Oct. 10, Yvette Cade was attacked by her estranged husband at the cellular telephone store in Clinton where she worked.

Roger Hargrave doused her with gasoline and chased her into the parking lot. When she fell, he ignited the liquid.

Hargrave, 34, of Temple Hills, now is serving a life prison sentence after an April conviction on charges of attempted murder and assault.

Mrs. Cade, 32, spent 92 days in the hospital recovering from burns on more than 65 percent of her body. She faces additional surgery and therapy as a result of the attack.

Late Saturday, she reached out to Miss Edwards and her family, offering her support.

Mr. Willoughby is being held without bond.

He is expected to appear for a court hearing, possibly as early as today, police said.

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