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He Wanted Nurses' Attention, Got Cops' Attention, Too

Police say John King wanted his clothes, set fire to his hospital bed
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2020 12:40 PM CST

(Newser) – John King really, really wanted his clothes. Police say the Florida man had been admitted to a New Smyrna Beach hospital for respiratory failure Saturday and felt like the nurses were ignoring his request for his clothing, so he set his hospital bed on fire to get their attention. They say he first lit a plastic bag on fire, but the other man in the hospital room convinced him to put that one out, ClickOrlando reports. The roommate returned to his bed on the other side of a curtain, then saw King light another fire, police say. That's when the roomie used his emergency button to call staff to the incident.

"The (expletive) in here lit his bed on fire. I can’t breathe. The smoke is in the room," the roommate told nurses, per records. One nurse called 911 while another doused the flames with a fire extinguisher; meanwhile, King was allegedly trying to get to the elevator to escape, but staff stopped him. He was ultimately arrested on a felony charge of arson (and handed over the red and silver Bic lighter he allegedly used to spark the fires). No one was injured in the incident, but the bed will need to be replaced at a cost of $4,000. (Read more weird crimes stories.)

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