A 39-year-old Peabody man allegedly tried to kill his girlfriend and set fire to her home on Tuesday night, police said.
Edi Diazabakana faces charges of attempted murder, arson, domestic violence and assault, and kidnapping, Peabody Police said a press release Wednesday.
Police responded to an apartment fire at 85 Lowell St. around 11 p.m. on Aug. 8, the release said. When the first officer arrived at the scene, Diazabakana’s girlfriend called for help, saying her boyfriend tried to kill her.
The Peabody Fire Department soon arrived and put out the fire, police said.
As police entered the lobby of the apartment building, a 28-year-old woman ran down the stairs. NBC10 Boston reported. She told police that her boyfriend, who lives with her and was later identified as Diazabakana, came into her bedroom while she was sleeping and set the bed on fire, the news channel reported.
The victim broke up with Diazabakana earlier that day and he didn’t get along well, she told police Gloucester Daily Times. At one point, they got into an argument and he allegedly punched her in the face multiple times, resulting in a bloody nose, which caught the eye of police Daily times reported.
The victim attempted to flee the home during the fire, but Diazabakana allegedly physically stopped her from leaving the home, telling her “they would both die there together.” Daily times reported.
The victim’s 50-year-old mother was also at the home that night, NBC10 Boston reported.
“My mother tried to help, but he fought her off,” said Sasha, the victim’s sister. said WBZ TV. “My mother ran to get help and only by the grace of God my sister and mother are both alive now.”
The woman and her mother suffered severe burns to their lower legs, NBC10 Boston reported. Police later found a red gas tank and a blowtorch in the apartment.
The fire displaced the building’s 20 residents as authorities deemed the building unsafe Daily times reported. The American Red Cross is helping.
Police arrested Diazabakana without incident, NBC10 Boston reported. He was arraigned in Peabody Circuit Court on Wednesday and was being held without bail.
During the indictment, Diazabakana pleaded not guilty Daily times reported. His dangerousness hearing is scheduled for August 16.
The judge also ordered Diazabakana not to have any contact with the victim, the newspaper reported. They have reportedly been together for three years and moved in together in October 2023.
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