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Man arrested for allegedly setting friend on fire had past anger problem

By Leila Fujimori

LAST UPDATED: 10:49 p.m. HST, May 8, 2014

The 44-year-old Kane-ohe man who allegedly set his gasoline-soaked drinking buddy on fire Wednesday has a history of anger management problems and violence, according to court rec-ords.

In 2010 Joel Lonzaga violated a temporary restraining order filed by an ex-girlfriend who said he used a large rock to smash her car windshield, broke her car's side mirrors, destroyed her laptop computer and kicked and punched in her front screen door, yelling to get into her house, according to protective orders filed in court.

"Every once in a while, he has a short fuse with his son or a neighbor," said Richard Richardson, who lives across the road from him. "I'm surprised he did that. He had no signs of being mentally ill."

On Wednesday, Lonzaga and his friend started drinking beer early in the day in the carport-turned-patio of his mother's house, where he lives, neighbors said. Police said Lonzaga allegedly dumped the contents of a plastic gasoline can on the other man's head.

Police said Lonzaga  set the man on fire with a lighter.

Police arrested Lonzaga on suspicion of second-degree attempted murder along with two felony drug offenses. Lonzaga remained at the main police station cellblock Thursday night and had not been charged as of 9 p.m.

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