A woman who was set on fire at a Boynton Beach 7-Eleven early Monday morning was there to pick up her 4-year-old boy from his father, but the man doused her in gasoline and set her ablaze, police say.
Roosevelt Mondesir, 59, of suburban Boynton Beach, is charged with attempted first-degree murder. The woman, whose name is not being released, is in the hospital with severe burns to her body and face, according to Boynton Beach police.
The boy was found alone in Mondesir’s home sleeping and unharmed.
The horrific attack was captured by video cameras trained on both the store parking lot and inside. The woman can be seen running from her attacker engulfed in flames.
According to Palm Beach County court records, the woman filed for an injunction against Mondesir late last month, claiming that he tried to physically pull her out of her car on May 21 when she she brought their 4-year-old son to visit him. She said she eventually got out of the car and walked away with her children in tow.
When she came back, she said, the hood of her car was up, all the air had been let out of her tires and the lug nuts had been removed.
In February, she said, Mondesir cut up all the furniture at their house on Mackinac Road and threw all her belongings around the house before he threw her out. She said he repeatedly threatened to hurt her during that confrontation and had followed up with daily text and voicemail threats, including one where she said he told her she would have to learn the hard way “just like all the others.”
“I’m all about revenge now. I don’t give a [expletive],” she quoted him as saying.
She said Mondesir also told her other children that he was going to take their brother and move to Boston with him, telling them that their mother was “evil.”
The woman also said that Mondesir once had an injunction issued against him by a woman he dated in Boston.
Court records show a judge denied the injunction on May 29, the same day it was filed, saying there weren’t enough facts to support a claim of repeat violence.
The woman called Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputies on May 28 to report Mondesir, whom she described as her former boyfriend, was harassing her.
According to the deputy’s report, the woman said Mondesir had called her, texted her and left angry voice mails in which he said the boy was not his and described his upset over their recent break-up.
The deputy, who met the woman at her home in suburban Lantana, read the texts and listened to the voice mails. Though he said he didn’t hear any threat of violence, he did track down Mondesir and warn him not to contact the woman except when they were exchanging custody of the boy.
The deputy also gave the woman an information packet on domestic violence.
Monday’s incident began at 2:53 a.m. when officers were called to the 7-Eleven at 7088 Lawrence Road. The woman was burned and her shirt still in flames where she threw it to the ground, according to the arrest report.
She told investigators that she drove her Mercedes to a convenience store to exchange custody of her son. When Mondesir arrived, she noted the boy was not with him and she started to leave. He pulled a gas can from his Jaguar and splattered her with gas, chased her to the convenience store door and out again, igniting her as she ran away.
Store video shows the woman, doused in gas, runs inside the store and tries to hold the glass doors shut against her attacker to no avail. Armed with a long knife, he forces the door open and the woman is pulled outside and out of the camera’s view. Seconds later she runs by in flames.
Running from the store door to the parking lot, she sheds her shirt as workers inside the store run out of the camera’s view, apparently calling police.
Mondesir was found at 5:45 a.m. hiding in nearby bushes. The police report they found his car with the knife and gas can inside.
He was taken to Bethesda Memorial Hospital to be treated for burns. The woman was taken to Delray Medical Center’s trauma unit for care.