Psychiatric patient escapes hospital before allegedly dousing woman with petrol and setting her on fire
- Manhunt on Bartholomew Griffith, 25
- He allegedly tried to set fire to Northcote’s house
A manhunt has been launched for an escaped mental patient after he allegedly doused a woman with petrol and attempted to set her on fire.
Bartholemew Griffith, 25, was reported to have entered a wellness center in Salisbury Grove in Melbourne’s Northcote at 1:30am on Saturday.
Police will claim that he turned on the gas in the kitchen before leaving and later returned with jerry cans to douse the property with petrol.
Mr Griffith allegedly ‘pushed’ a 52-year-old woman living in the property and managed to lock a security door.
A search is underway for Bartholemew Griffith, an ‘unpredictable’ escaped mental patient who allegedly doused a woman with petrol and attempted to set her on fire during a burglary
Police will claim that he splashed the door and the woman with petrol before throwing matches at her in a failed attempt to light the petrol.
He then fled after allegedly failing to set the house on fire.
Darebin Crime Investigation Unit Senior Constable Cameron Ashworth said his actions may have been motivated by a grudge he holds against the property.
“Police believe he has a suspicion that something is wrong with that location,” said Sr. Const. Ashworth said on Sunday.
Police later said Mr Griffith and the woman had previously attended workshops at the wellness centre, although they did not believe Mr Griffith had personally assaulted her.
Police allege Mr Griffith attempted to set fire to the premises on Friday evening after he ‘absconded’ from Austin Hospital in Heidelberg, Melbourne’s north-east.
Police further allege Mr Griffith is an ‘involuntary patient’ at Austin Hospital in Heidelberg, Melbourne’s northeast, and was ‘in hiding’ on Friday night.
Mr Giffith was an “involuntary patient” who may have jumped a fence at the facility to escape.
“His behavior is unpredictable and we need him to return to the care facility,” Sr Const. Ashworth said.
The detectives of the Darebin Crime Investigation Unit are looking for Mr Griffith in connection with a serious burglary.
They do not believe Mr. Griffith poses a danger to the public, but urged the public not to approach him and to contact triple zero instead.
He was last seen wearing the red jacket seen in the photos released by the police, as well as blue trousers.
He was also described as “pretty messed up with a beard.”
The search for Mr. Griffith involves several outdoor locations in the Darebin area, as he was known for being “sleepy.”
Anyone with information is requested to contact Triple Zero (000).