A suburban Detroit woman was arraigned Friday on charges alleging that she set fire to an acquaintance’s SUV in an act that was apparently caught on video and shows a woman get blown backward after igniting a liquid she had poured through the vehicle’s rear window.
Sydney Parham, of Fraser, was formally charged in a Clinton Township court on one count of third-degree arson in Wednesday’s fire outside of an apartment complex in Harrison Township, northeast of Detroit. The 26-year-old was released on a $20,000 personal bond and has a court conference scheduled for Aug. 5.
The video, which appears to have been shot from an upstairs window or balcony nearby, shows a woman wearing a black, hooded jacket and a white face mask emptying the contents of a small, red gasoline can through an open rear side window of the SUV.
She reaches back inside with what appears to be a hand-held grill lighter and flames burst from the Jeep’s interior, blowing the woman backward into an adjacent parked vehicle. She then crawls away before scrambling back to retrieve the gas can and other items.
Firefighters arrived and put out the blaze.
Several witnesses identified the woman to sheriff’s deputies, according to the sheriff’s office.
Parham was arrested outside of her home. She was treated for minor cuts and burns at the county jail.
“She’s presumed innocent unless proven guilty, like the court said,” said her lawyer, Vassal Johnson II. Johnson said he was retained to represent Parham on Friday but saw the video online on Wednesday.