A young man lit his friend’s motorcycle on fire after harassing a female attendant at the station, then stood by while the bike burned and as other people tried to extinguish the flames, according to Chinese state-sponsored media The Beijing News.
The unnamed man was criminally detained for arson on July 31.
No one at the station was injured, and the fire was put out without incident in Qujing City of China’s Yunnan Province on July 23. The man who set the blaze simply stood by and watched as others acted, including the driver.
He later confessed to the police that he had been drinking due to unfortunate recent events, and wasn’t in control of himself when he set the fire.
Security camera footage reveals two young men in black and parked at a gas station pump at night, while a female attendant approaches to pump gas for the two. Gas station attendants are very common in China.
The man who eventually starts the blaze stands close to the female attendant, and can be seen to have what appears to be a cigarette resting on his left ear.
At the same time, the attendant begins pumping gas into the motorcycle, but appears to be keeping a distance from the two men, as her arms are stretched out.
They appear to be talking to her, while reports claim that they were insulting her without reason, according to The Beijing News. Then without warning, the standing man reaches for the woman’s face, appearing to try to touch her cheek. The woman quickly evades him, but at the same time, splashing gas all over the bike and ground.
The driver quickly dismounts the bike, appearing to check his clothes for gasoline as he walks away. Moments later, the other young man leans in close to the bike. For an unreported reason, he struck a lighter and held it to the side of the bike. The attendant looks on while he does this.
In an instant, the whole bike erupts into flames, and the three back away. Within seconds the attendant grabs a fire extinguisher, while the arsonist stands back with his hands crossed over his chest, despite a flame flickering on his sandals. The driver also simply looks on at the blaze.
The video cuts ahead, after one extinguisher appears to be used up, and the driver uses another to finally quench the flames. A man approaches with a third extinguisher, and douses the motorcycle.
Days later, when the police arrested the man, he explained why he set the fire. He had been drinking to drown his sorrows over a recent financial loss. He took out a loan to buy a new cellphone, but the phone was stolen before the loan was even repaid.
He claimed that he was not in control of his emotions at that time, and thus set fire to the motorcycle.