Inmate Burned in Prison Gasoline Attack

GRADY, AR - A state prisoner at the Cummins Unit at Grady was badly burned early Tuesday when another inmate threw gasoline on him and then set it aflame.

Correction Department spokeswoman Dina Tyler says 42-year-old Robert Smith was in his bunk at about 4 a.m. as breakfast was being served when he was attacked.  Tyler says Smith ran after he was set on fire but was caught and extinguished by nearby inmates.

Tyler says Smith was conscious, alert and talking when he was taken to a hospital at Dumas.  He has been transferred to a hospital in Little Rock for continued treatment of burns on his chest, arms and face.

Smith told officials he did not see his attacker and did not know why he was targeted.  Tyler says it is likely that Smith didn't see his attacker, considering that Smith was still in bed when he was set on fire.

Tyler says an internal investigation is taking place and state police are also investigating.  She says the department also wants to know how the culprit got gasoline and a lighter or matches into the barracks area.

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