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A Florida man who allegedly admitted to setting his hospital bed on fire now faces second-degree felony arson charges.
On Feb. 22, John King, 75, allegedly told police he used a silver and red Bic lighter to ignite a plastic bag in his shared hospital room. Police say he claimed it was to get the attention of a nurse on duty, as he felt that hospital staff at AdventHealth New Smyrna Beach were ignoring his request to bring him his clothes, WKMG reports.
Samuel Moreno, King's roommate, said that King initially told him "that he needed to get out of the room because the fire department was coming," according to the charging affidavit obtained by Oxygen.com. Confused, Moreno, 84, said that King proceeded to light a "small item" (later identified as a plastic bag). He claimed he told King to put out the fire, but once King returned to his bed behind a curtain, he reignited the object, so Moreno used his emergency button to notify the staff.
"The motherf--ker in here lit his bed on fire. I can't breathe. The smoke is in the room," Moreno shouted to nurse Jessie Guarini, according to the affidavit.
Guarini alerted another nurse, Marrie Koch, who put out the fire while Guarini called 911. In the midst of the chaos, Guarini saw King try to escape, "saying that he was getting the hell out of there," according to the affidavit. He was stopped and secured until the New Smyrna Beach Fire Department arrived.
The $4,000 bed was lost in the fire and King is responsible for purchasing a replacement, hospital administration told WKMG.
King, who was originally admitted to the hospital for respiratory failure, remained in custody on Wednesday at the Volusia County Jail on $15,000 bond.
He is set to be arraigned March 18, according to the Miami Herald.
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