Riverview student severely burned when market worker ignites lighter fluid dripping from backpack

Mazin Shaya charged; 17-year-old boy treated for severe burns

A 17-year-old student from Riverview is being treated for severe burns after he went to a market during his lunch break and a worker ignited the lighter fluid that was dripping out of his saturated backpack, officials said.

RIVERVIEW, Mich. – A 17-year-old student from Riverview is being treated for severe burns after he went to a market during his lunch break and a worker ignited the lighter fluid that was dripping out of his saturated backpack, officials said.

Student burned during lunch break

Riverview police said they received a call around 1:30 p.m. June 2 from the mother of a Riverview Community High School student.

The woman said her 17-year-old son had gone to Victor’s Market on Quarry Road for an off-campus lunch break between 11:30 a.m. and 12:15 p.m.

She said her son was currently being sedated in the emergency room at Wyandotte Hospital. Officials were preparing to transport him to Children’s Hospital in Detroit for treatment of severe burns, she told police.

The mother of the 17-year-old told Local 4 that Victor’s Market sold the lighter fluid to her son a few weeks ago. She explained that her son put the fluid in his backpack and forgot it was in there until it started leaking.

Police investigation

About 24 hours into their investigation, Riverview police said they spoke to a witness about what had happened to the student.

According to the witness, the student had entered the market wearing a backpack that was saturated with lighter fluid. The fluid was leaking from inside the boy’s backpack, the witness said.

The witness told officers that a Victor’s Market employee, Mazin Nowail Shaya, 55, held and activated a lighter to verify whether the fluid was flammable. The lighter was too close to the student, and it caused his shirt to ignite, officials said.

“This incident was a tragedy and could have easily been avoided,” interim Riverview police Chief Bob Bemis said. “Now it’s the court’s job to decide who is responsible and what their punishment should be.”

Mazin Nowail Shaya (Riverview Police Department)

Charges

Detectives arrested Shaya without incident Tuesday (June 7) in Sterling Heights, they said.

The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office charged Shaya with assault with intent to murder and assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder.

Assault with intent to murder is a felony punishable by up to life in prison. Assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Shaya was arraigned Wednesday at 27th District Court and given a $1 million bond, with 10% cash/surety. Shaya must wear a GPS tether and remain under house arrest, if released.

A probable cause conference is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. June 16 at 27th District Court.


About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.