Girl Ponders Attending ASU, Gets Burned by Flaming Everclear

Tempe police arrested ASU student Andrew Kent Monday after he allegedly tossed a bottle of liquor into a backyard bonfire, which exploded and burned two women.

One of the victims was a 17-year-old girl and prospective student visiting ASU, scoping out the school to see if it was a place she'd like to attend (her parents had to fly in from California to visit her in the hospital, so we're guessing she won't be back).

Sergeant Michael Pooley says there were more than a hundred people crammed into the house party near Hardy and University, and most were underage. 

Sometime before midnight, Kent reportedly demonstrated the type of bright intellect reflective of the university by tossing a bottle of what police believe was Everclear -- generally 75 percent to 95 percent alcohol and can power small motors -- into the fire. The burning alcohol temporarily lit the two women on fire and friends help put them out, but it singed the legs of both women and one had burns on her back as well. 

And in case the prospective student wanted to call Kent a bad apple, not representative of the ASU institution, police say the whole party sent the two victims away for help so as not to attract attention to the house. Partiers sent the prospective student down the street to wait for paramedics, so as not to be too close to the house. And the other woman called her father, who is a fireman. 

"Everyone was kicking them out to get their own medical attention because they thought it would bring too much pressure on the house," Pooley says. 

Pooley hasn't seen anything like this specifically, although he says every so often ASU partiers do dumb things and then worry more about calling police instead of helping victims. 

"I understand you don't want to be responsible," he says, "but on something like this you got to get your priorities straight."

Police charged Kent with two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of endangerment. And it's fairly safe to say ASU lost a prospective student. 

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Weston Phippen
Contact: Weston Phippen