N.Y. Man Doused in Tequila, Lit on Fire After Fight with Friend

A man doused his friend with tequila and set him on fire as they argued over whether he could spend the night to recover from an evening of drinking, police in suburban New York said Tuesday.

Epigmenio Garcia, 24, had asked the friend to leave his home in Westbury, on Long Island, early Sunday. When the man refused, Garcia hit him, poured tequila on him, and set him on fire with a lighter, Nassau County police said.

Garcia took the victim, whose name was not released, to a hospital, where he was treated for second-degree burns to his face, ears, neck and hands, police said.

Garcia, an unemployed landscaper, pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of assault and possession of weapons — the tequila and the lighter. A message left with the Nassau County Legal Aid Society, which represents him, was not immediately returned.

The Nassau County district attorney's office said Garcia's bail was set at $400,000 bond or $200,000 cash, and an order of protection was issued, barring him from contacting the victim. He remained in the Nassau County jail Tuesday evening.