Man who doused self with gasoline jailed
June 24, 2013
A Gardnerville man is in Douglas County jail after he allegedly doused himself and another person with gasoline on Friday evening.
Deputies found Richard Vonderscher, 45, walking along Highway 395 near Airport Road carrying a milk jug partially filled with gasoline at 7:18 p.m.
When he was told to drop the jug, Vonderscher allegedly dumped the contents of the jug down the front of his shirt. He then threw the empty jug against a fence. Deputies detained him despite the gasoline, and handcuffed him.
Vonderscher told deputies that his car ran out of gas near Indian Hills.
He claimed that he got a ride from a woman he knew while walking to get gasoline and after they picked up the gasoline, she drove south past his car, saying he was too intoxicated to drive home.
He said the woman slammed on the brakes, spilling the gasoline and then pushed him out of the vehicle at 35 mph.
Deputies didn't see any injuries on Vonderscher to support his story.
The driver told deputies she was at home when Vonderscher arrived intoxicated and started arguing with his son, who was visiting.
She said she received a call from Vonderscher's mother asking that she drive him home. They stopped by the gas station to fill his jug, and then when they passed Vonderscher's vehicle, she said he grabbed her by the hair and pulled the emergency brake. As they were riding down the highway, Vonderscher started pouring the gasoline in the jug all over them and produced a small lighter and tried to light it.
The driver said she pulled into the left turn lane at 395 and Airport Road, where Vonderscher got out and tried to cross the center median cables, falling down in the process.
Another witness said she watched Vonderscher get out of the car and trip over the cables and into the dirt on the other side.
That witness said the car wasn't moving when Voderscher climbed out.
Vonderscher is charged with arson in the fourth degree and battery.
He appeared in East Fork Justice Court, where attorney Kris Brown was appointed to represent him and his bail was set at $5,000 cash. He is scheduled to be back in court .
Vonderscher was arrested June 5 in Carson City after he allegedly overdosed on heroin.