Man accused of burning Springdale woman
By Chuck Biedka and Michael Hasch
Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013, 8:33 a.m.
Updated: Friday, March 1, 2013
Police are searching for a man who they say poured flammable perfume over his ex-girlfriend in her Springdale apartment and set her on fire early Thursday.
Police are looking for Clinton C. Cohen, 27, who authorities say has no fixed address and simply “floats place to place.” He is known to frequent the Sharpsburg, Wilkinsburg and Kittanning areas.
Authorities said Cohen has an extensive criminal record that includes assault, domestic assault and robbery. He is considered dangerous.
Police said the victim, Maria Redman, 22, was in a Pittsburgh hospital with second-degree burns over a third of her body.Allegheny County Police Lt. Jeffrey Korczyk said Redman was in “critical, but stable condition” on Thursday evening.
Police said Cohen showed up at Redman's apartment, at 516 Pittsburgh St. in Springdale, shortly after 6:30 a.m. It was the first time they had seen each other in a month.
Redman was in the bedroom when she and Cohen argued, police said.
Their 3-month-old daughter was in the room, too.
Cohen allegedly choked and punched the woman, breaking her nose.
Korczyk said Cohen then “opened a (large) bottle of perfume, poured it over her and used a cigarette lighter to set her on fire.”
Police said the victim was burned on her head and upper torso. She dropped to the floor to try putting out the fire.
“As she was rolling around on the floor (in flames), he (Cohen) tossed some sort of blanket at her and left, not knowing if the fire was out and knowing his child was there,” Kor-czyk said.
Redman called 911 about 6:45 a.m. and, although in pain, talked with detectives before being rushed to the hospital. She identified her assailant as “Clinton,” and police later identified him as Clinton C. Cohen.
“She has a long battle ahead of her,” Korczyk said.
Although she was unharmed, the infant was found with her mother's blood on her, police said.
“It is unclear what the argument was about,” Korczyk said. “We believe it was some argument over living arrangements. He was not living there. We understand he floats from place to place.
“I don't know if there had been other problems between the two (with the victim), but we know he has a history of domestic assaults.”
Cohen's mother told police he is estranged from most of his family.
Springdale Chief Joe Naviglia said the victim was taken by ambulance to a Pittsburgh hospital. He called county police to investigate because of the severity of injuries and nature of the alleged crime.
Cohen is facing attempted homicide, aggravated assault, arson, risking a catastrophe, child endangerment and reckless endangerment regarding residents of other apartments.
Redman's apartment is above Ladles Restaurant. There did not appear to be any damage to the building as a result of the incident. An Allegheny County forensics team gathered evidence at the scene.
Chuck Biedka and Michael Haschare staff writers for Trib Total Media.
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