Suspect accused of setting Denny’s customer on fire charged with - KPTV - FOX 12

Suspect accused of setting Denny’s customer on fire charged with attempted murder

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Deshaun Swanger is facing a charge of attempted murder after police say he pour gasoline on a man at a Happy Valley Denny’s and lit him on fire. (KPTV) Deshaun Swanger is facing a charge of attempted murder after police say he pour gasoline on a man at a Happy Valley Denny’s and lit him on fire. (KPTV)
OREGON CITY, OR (KPTV) -

He’s accused of dousing an elderly man with gasoline at a Denny’s restaurant then setting him on fire, and Friday 24-year-old Deshaun Swanger appeared before a judge.

Swanger is no stranger to law enforcement, but this time he is facing his most serious charges to date. Appearing in court Friday wearing a suicide-prevention vest, he learned that he was charged with attempted aggravated murder.

Investigators believe Swanger can be seen in surveillance video from Wednesday night at the Denny’s in Happy Valley. Cops say he sat in a booth next to 69-year-old Scott Ranstrom, doused him with gas and set him on fire.

Medics rushed Ranstrom to the hospital while deputies searched for the suspect.

FOX 12 was on hand when deputies confronted and arrested Swanger at a transitional house less than a half-mile from restaurant Thursday night.

“We received numerous tips that they believed this was the man, and in fact, they were right,” Sgt. Brian Jensen of the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday evening. “We are relieved that we got him, absolutely.”

Detectives think Swanger may also be the person who tried to set someone on fire Sunday at the Century Clackamas Town Center movie theater.

Buck Sleight is a former roommate of Swanger’s who tipped off police, and he says the allegations are shocking.

“He was real quiet, stayed to himself,” Sleight said. “I don’t think anyone realized that he was that type of person.”

Ranstrom’s sister Leslie Kurtz is shaken to her core. She said her brother is burned beyond recognition and his life will never be the same.

“It’s unreal.  Who does that?” Kurtz said. “He’s a good guy, too. He’s an animal lover and everything. He’s a good guy. He doesn’t deserve any – nobody, even if they’re bad, doesn’t deserve to be burned like that.”

Swanger is being held in jail on $500,000 bail. He will be back in court on April 28.

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