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Dublin: 17°C Thursday 16 September 2021

Man arrested over woman who burned to death in lift attack

Jerome Isaac is said to have turned himself into police on Sunday following the shocking attack captured on CCTV.

Jerome Isaac is led out by police in Brooklyn after being arrested on Sunday.
Jerome Isaac is led out by police in Brooklyn after being arrested on Sunday.
Image: Robert Mecea/AP/Press Association Images

A MAN HAS been arrested by police in New York after a woman was doused with fuel and set on fire as she attempted to walk out of a lift to her apartment on Saturday.

Deloris Gillespie died on Saturday after she was attacked by a man waiting for her as the door of the lift to her fifth floor Brooklyn apartment opened.

Shocking CCTV images show a man entering the lift, wearing surgical gloves, a protective mask on his head, and spraying accelerant all over the woman before setting her on fire.

She has been named as 73-year-old Gillespie from Brooklyn while the man arrested has been identified as 47-year-0ld Jerome Isaac. It is reported he has claimed he was owed money by Gillespie for odd jobs he had carried out on her flat.

According to the New York Post Isaac had left a note on Gillespie’s door with a list of chores he wanted to be paid for but Gillespie refused to pay him after she discovered him stealing from her home.

The New York Times describes the incident – which was caught entirely on two separate CCTV cameras but of which only images have been released – with the assailant spraying a cowering Gillespie and her shopping bags with the flammable liquid before lighting a Molotov cocktail and setting her on fire.

He fled down the stairs of the apartment building and returned to his own flat about two blocks away where it is believed he started a fire there. It is reported that he later turned himself into police, smelling of gasoline and with visible burns to his face.

The six-storey apartment building in which the incident happened was evacuated and residents kept away as police investigated. They said they recognised the man arrested by police and said he sometimes carried shopping bags for Gillespie.

Woman burned to death in horrific lift attack

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Hugh O'Connell

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