The ex-girlfriend of a Cornelius man accused of dousing his home with gasoline and threatening to set it on fire spoke out Monday night.
Melinda Gunzenhauser's house still reeks of gasoline. Parts of the carpeting in her bedroom is still soaked with fuel; it will have to be ripped out and replaced.
"I know I need to get it all picked up and cleaned before my kids are going to be able to come in here because they're going to have a lot of nightmares over this," Gunzenhauser said.
Gunzenhauser said her then-boyfriend, Amaury Lopez, 35, poured gasoline on himself Saturday after she suggested they live apart for a while. Gunzenhauser said she immediately left the house with her two little girls but went back inside to get her keys.
When she went back inside, she said Lopez threatened to kill her - pouring gasoline on her as well. After a 20-minute struggle she escaped and her 8-year-old daughter called 911.
Gunzenhauser was taken to the hospital while dozens of police swarmed the home.
Police said Lopez threatened to burn the house to the ground Saturday afternoon during the five-hour standoff that ensued.
Police set up a barricade and evacuated the neighborhood as negotiators worked to coach Lopez out of his house, according to Forest Grove Fire Division Chief David Nemeyer.
"They asked us to evacuate," said neighbor Tommy Tucci who lives behind Lopez. "I wasn't able to at the time so I had to bring the dogs in and keep the kids away from any side of the walls that might explode from the house behind us."
Police said Lopez walked out of the house with his hands in the air about five hours later. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
Lopez is charged with attempted murder.
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