Help sought for domestic violence burn victim

Friday, April 22, 2011

While the man who allegedly threw hot cooking oil on a Lewisburg woman waits for his next court date, a fundraiser will be held today in for the victim.

Ryan R. Haase, 34, of David Avenue, is due back in General Sessions Court on May 10. Charged with attempted murder, Haase is being held without bond in Marshall County Jail. Judge Steve Bowden assigned the Public Defender's Office to represent him, after Haase completed an affidavit of indigency that stated he had no job and no assets.

Haase allegedly "threw hot oil onto the victim which caused life-threatening injuries" and that he "did admit to the act," according to Lewisburg Police Detective Scott Braden.

Haase's victim, Lindsey Arp, 23, worked at Broadmore Senior Living, 3211 Memorial Blvd., Murfreesboro. A benefit car wash and bake sale is being held in Murfreesboro today starting at 9 a.m. Money raised at the event will be deposited in the Lindsey Arp Benefit Fund that has been established at US Bank.

Her friends have started a "Prayers for Lindsey" community on Facebook and people can go there to send her messages of support and get updates on her condition.

"She is going to need some serious financial help to keep her house and to make sure her three children are provided for," wrote her friend Amber Thomason in an e-mail.

"I think awareness and education about domestic violence is key," Thomason continued. "I think if more people knew what to look for and where to go for help things like this wouldn't have to happen."

A report by Police Officer Clyde Ragsdale describes the scene at David Avenue when he was dispatched there about 2:30 a.m. Monday, April 11.

Ragsdale found Arp sitting on the porch of the house next door, where she had gone to call for help. Her "face, neck, chest, arms, stomach area, and legs were burned," Ragsdale wrote. Emergency Medical Service personnel examined Arp and quickly decided she needed to be transported to the burns unit at Vanderbilt Medical Center by helicopter ambulance.

Police Cpl. Jackie Robertson got permission to enter the Arp's home, where her three children were sleeping. Robertson and Ragsdale entered the house at 434 David Avenue and found that it "had smoke in it and smelled like burnt oil." The two officers found oil spilled in the kitchen and the bedroom. There was "oil on the headboard of the bed and on the sheets. One of the pillows was smoking. I could feel heat coming from the bed," Ragsdale wrote in his report.

Meanwhile, Haase had turned himself in at the Marshall County Sheriff's Department, and Ragsdale reported he was present when Police Detective Scott Braden interviewed Haase after he had been read his rights. Ragsdale wrote that Haase admitted to drinking tequila and smoking marijuana, but denied being "intoxicated or impaired."

According to Ragsdale's report, Haase told the detective he and Arp got into a physical altercation two weeks ago, but he thought "it was like all the other times" until a week later she told him he had to be out of the house at the end of April. Later she moved the date to April 8, and then to April 9. On April 10, he was still in the house, and told Braden they had been exchanging words throughout the evening about him moving out.

Arp went to bed, Ragsdale's report stated. Haase went in the kitchen and started heating cooking oil, but fell asleep. He awoke to the smell of smoke.

According to the report, the victim also awoke and went to the kitchen, where she laughed at Haase's efforts to clean up, called him "stupid" and made "a sarcastic sexual comment."

Haase told the officers at this point he "snapped," picked up the pot of oil, carried it with oven mitts to the bedroom, stood at the foot of the bed, and "slung" the oil onto Arp, who was lying on the bed. Immediately after this, according to the report, Haase said he left the house to turn himself in and get help for Arp.

Public records show Arp bought the home on David Avenue in July 2010. Before that, she and Haase had been renting a house on Tarpley Avenue in Cornersville. City Administrator Taylor Brandon remembers Haase was cited and fined $250 last summer for not keeping his pit bull dogs properly restrained, and the pair left Cornersville shortly thereafter.