The woman charged with setting a Galveston man on fire had been accused of harassing and threatening the victim for months and even of dousing him once before with lighter fluid, according to police records.

Nancy Ruth Allen, 50, was arrested Monday after she called police about turning herself in on a charge of aggravated assault with a weapon, Galveston Police Capt. Joshua Schirard said.

Police arrested Allen near the intersection of 20th Street and Avenue M 1/2, Schirard said. She was booked into the Galveston County jail on a bond of $250,000, Schirard said.

Galveston police Thursday said they were looking for Allen in connection with a Nov. 28 incident during which a man was set afire.

Emergency responders were called about 6 a.m. to the 500 block of 21st Street by a person who said he had just been set ablaze.

The man told police that he had been in his apartment when the electricity had gone out and that when he went outside to check the circuit breaker, Allen threw fire on him, according to a probable cause affidavit released Tuesday.

The man told police several times he was on fire and in pain during the 911 call, according to the affidavit.

Responders found a man with burns on his hands and face. His clothes were still aflame.

Police accuse Allen of throwing a flammable material on the man and setting him on fire, Schirard said.

Officers found a fuel-soaked rag, burned clothing and a charred and broken lighter at the scene, according to the affidavit.

Allen and the 46-year-old victim had dated about six years ago, but broke up after less than a year together, according to the affidavit.

The two had been arguing earlier in the evening before the man’s electricity was shut off, according to the affidavit.

Police also found several recent police reports regarding previous incidents between the man and Allen, according to the affidavit.

The circuit breaker at the man’s apartment had been switched off three times on May 7. When he went outside to check on it for the third time, Allen assaulted him, according to the affidavit.

Allen subsequently pleaded no contest to a charge of assault causing bodily injury to a family member for that incident and was sentenced June 9 to 94 days in county jail, court records show.

Another police report noted that Allen had poured lighter fluid on the man and said, “I’m going to douse you” during a previous argument, according to the affidavit.

Court records list Allen as a transient.

Allen has a lengthy criminal history in Galveston County.

The man was taken to a University of Texas Medical Branch hospital with serious, but not life-threatening, second- and third-degree burns on his hands and face, officials said.

The man has since been released and is recovering, Schirard said.

Matt deGrood: 409-683-5230;



(3) comments

Donald Glywasky

Seems to me that she should be given full bail immediately and released. After all, did I not read in the paper that bail is a right?

Jim Forsythe

What is being argued, is bail being set, that a person cannot afford. Not to do away with bail. In this case , what bail insures she will show up?
By having bail set at a level that a person cannot afford, means we have to pay $56 a day to keep her in jail.

Dwight Burns

Using our jails as a debtors prison benefits no one. You are trying to compare apples to oranges with your comment. This person, by her actions, belongs in jail.

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