RIVERVIEW — A local market employee was charged with setting a 17-year-old Riverview Community High School student on fire June 2.
Mazin Nowail Shaya, 55, of Sterling Heights, was arraigned in 27th District Court before Judge Elizabeth DiSanto June 8 and charged with assault with intent to commit murder, a felony punishable by up to life in prison, and assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Disanto set bond at $1 million, 10 percent. Shaya will be under house arrest and wear a GPS tether if he is out on bond, and surrender his passport.
A probable cause hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. June 22 in 27th District Court.
Police said the 17-year-old was at Victor’s Market, 17104 Quarry Road, between 11:30 to 12:15 p.m. on his lunch break. He was wearing a backpack which was saturated with lighter fluid, the fluid presumably leaking from inside the teen’s backpack.
In an attempt to verify if the fluid was flammable, Shaya allegedly lit a lighter too close to the teen, causing the victim’s shirt to ignite.
The Police Department received a phone call from the teen’s mother stating she was with her son in the emergency room of Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital. She told police her son was sedated and being prepared to be transported to Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit for treatment of severe burns.
Within 24 hours, police located a witness who identified Shaya as the person responsible.
Detectives executed an arrest warrant in Sterling Heights June 7, and Shaya was arrested without incident.
“This incident was a tragedy and could have easily been avoided,” Interim Police Chief Bob Bemis said. “Now it’s the court’s job to decide who is responsible and what their punishment should be.”
Criminal charges are allegations. Shay is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.