A Florida woman is being charged with serious crimes after trying to set her boyfriend on fire. The couple had been drinking in their apartment when the woman became enraged and doused the man with fingernail polish remover and set him on fire.
Thirty three year old Melissa Dawn Sellers of Clearwater, Florida is being charged with aggravated battery. The outrageous reason for her heinous attack on forty two year old Carlos Ortiz? She claims he threw out her dinner leftovers. You have to read this to believe it.
According to reports, Sellers and Ortiz were drinking in their home at the time of the attack around 2:30 a.m. An eyewitness to the brutal attack said it all started because Ortiz threw out the spaghetti and meatballs Sellers was saving.
Ines Causevic says “She was setting little objects on fire, then that turned into pouring nail polish remover all over him, and then all of a sudden, the lighter sparked and he lit on fire. When he got up, his face was like melting off, it was pink and sore. His lips were burning.”
Ortiz is currently in Critical condition at Tampa General Hospital, according to local news media, with severe burns to his face chest and shoulders.
This is not the first time Sellers has had a run in with the law. She has a criminal record including prior arrests for robbery and battery.
Ortiz is well regarded among acquaintances and neighbors, and many express disbelief that someone would attack him so viciously. They are especially shocked that Sellers would do this considering Ortiz took her in after she was evicted from her previous residence.
Neighbor Katherine Muds says “That’s my friend and I can’t imagine such a horrible thing, because he didn’t deserve that. He would never hurt anybody.”
Domestic abuse is perhaps one of the cruelest crimes that can be perpetrated, but it can be extremely difficult to identify and prevent. One small group is trying to give victims a new tool to seek help.
“The Black Dot Campaign” is a simple enough solution to a profoundly disturbing crime. Basically, the victim of domestic abuse simply draws a black dot on the palm of their hand to notify others that they are in danger. It also means that they abuser may be watching or listening and that openly discussing their situation may put themselves and others at further risk.
The official Facebook statement for the Black Dot Campaign says:
“…The original ethos for this campaign was to enable a victim to put a dot on their hand around someone they trusted to enable a conversation to start, so they could open that door and hopefully start a process of seeking professional help. This is an idea, thinking outside of the box, trying to open up the world’s eyes and ears to what is going on in terms of abuse. The idea came from a former domestic violence victim. Professional bodies have not been advised or trained in the Black Dot, what it symbolises and what it means. When people contact us we open the gates of communication and put them in touch with people who can really help. Putting such a campaign on Facebook was about raising awareness on a social media platform. This isn’t the solution that will help everyone, if anything it should help people realise what abuse is, how it affects people and how to access help. Most importantly SAFETY MUST ALWAYS COME FIRST. If you see a black dot or are approached by someone for help, if safe to do so take them to safety and get them in contact with the relevant agency. Intervention and support should only be done by professionals…”
Have you ever helped someone who was a victim of domestic abuse? Share your story with us here.