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Randolph Police Officer 'Surprised' By Gasoline Attack At Fire Scene

RANDOLPH (CBS) - A Randolph police officer who was doused with gasoline at a fire over the weekend was back at work Monday morning, telling his story.

Officer Marc L'Italien was at roll call just before midnight on Saturday night when police got the call to go to a burning duplex on Turning Mill Lane.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Karen Twomey reports


Randolph Fire
(Photo Credit: Renan Barreto)

Officer L'Italien and his partner were the first to arrive on the scene.

"There was probably ten people standing across the street from the house screaming and yelling, saying that there was still someone inside," he told WBZ-TV.

So, they went up to the door.

"I open the door, smoke starts billowing out. The smoke started to subside a little bit, so I put a foot in, tried to go in, (but) there was just too much smoke, couldn't see anything. And then I saw a hand with some sort of white object and then (I) just got showered with gas."

According to investigators, 54-year-old Raphael Theophile had started the fire and then doused Officer L'Italien.

What went through his mind?

"Just to get away from the house as fast as I could."

L'Italien said he didn't see the man.

"All I saw was an arm through the smoke because the smoke was so thick," he said.

"It was more of surprise because we were going to rescue someone and all of the sudden we're on the defensive. It changed real quick."

Officer L'Italien wasn't injured.

He went home, changed his clothes, and then was immediately back on the job.

Theophile was arrested.

Raphael Theophile
Raphael Theophile.

His wife and children were home at the time and were able to escape the flames. In all, 13 people lived in the duplex.

Theophile is now charged with 13 counts of attempted murder.

He will be arraigned Monday afternoon in Quincy District Court.

You can follow Karen Anderson on Twitter @Karenreports.

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