A Thomson man was in critical condition after Richmond County Investigators say he purposefully had his head set on fire.
The incident was originally reported that the man got into a fight with several others at Allie Katz Bar off Washington Road, and then those men set him on fire to retalliate…but investigators say that wasn’t the case.
William Bonner, 36, is getting himself ready…to prove his friends wrong. It takes two attempts…and then…success? After being doused with rum, Bacardi 151 to be exact…his head goes up in flames.
“I’ve seen people do a lot of crazy things when they are under the influence of alcohol, I’ve never seen them set their head on fire before.”
Lt. Blaise Dresser says the Richmond County Sheriff’s office was originally called to investigate this case because Bonner’s friend filed a report saying he had gotten into a fight at Allie Katz bar Thursday night…and that’s when the perpertrators set his head on fire, trying to hurt him.
“That wasn’t the case at all,” says Dresser.
“I actually thought that this man has gone wild.” Allie Katz manager Keith Bussey says he’s never seen anything like it. He knew to have some rules posted outside his business…he never thought “do not set self on fire” needed to be one of them.
“They call him ‘Ghost Rider’ in here from the movie and it’s exactly what it looked like.”
If you go on Youtube, you can pull up hundreds of videos where people deliberately light themselves up but Lt. Dresser doesn’t think Bonner was trying to get his 15 seconds of fame.
“The man who was set on fire, bet his friends that he was drinking with that he could set his face on fire. Obviously no one believed him and he proved them wrong.”
As an investigator and a bar manager…they both say they’ve seen crazy things over the years…but this now tops their lists.
“Do not have your friend poor alcohol on your head and have your other friend light it and think that it’s cool in front of women,” warned Bussey.
Lt. Dresser says there will be no charges in this case. He says Bonner has suffered enough.
Bonner was originally taken to GHS Medical Center, then transported to Doctors Hospital where he was listed in Critical Condition until Sunday.
***UPDATED at 5:03 P.M. on Monday, July 23rd***
WJBF News Channel 6 has learned the man whose head was set ablaze at an Augusta bar was released from the hospital on Sunday.
***POSTED At 3:53 P.M. on Monday, July 23rd***
A man was listed in critical condition, after Richmond County Sheriff’s Office deputies say he allowed his friends to set his head on fire.
Surveillance video from Allie Katz bar, on Washington Road, captured the incident.
In the video, you see William Bonner of Thomson preparing himself to get set on fire. Investigators say his friends poured Bacardi 151 on his head then set the flames.
Bonner was able to walk out of the bar, but was in critical condition from Thursday until Sunday at the Joseph M. Still Burn Center at Doctors Hospital.
We will have more on this story during our 5:00 p.m. Monday evening newscast, and why investigators originally opened an investigation up…then changed their minds.