Man who set customer on fire in Clackamas Co. Denny’s restaurant - KPTV - FOX 12

Man who set customer on fire in Clackamas Co. Denny’s restaurant pleads guilty

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Deshaun James Swanger, jail booking photo Deshaun James Swanger, jail booking photo
Scott Ranstrom talking to FOX 12 in August 2017 (KPTV file image) Scott Ranstrom talking to FOX 12 in August 2017 (KPTV file image)
CLACKAMAS COUNTY, OR (KPTV) -

A man who set a customer on fire inside a Denny’s restaurant in Clackamas County has pleaded guilty to charges including attempted aggravated murder.

Deshaun James Swanger, 25, also pleaded guilty in court Monday to charges of harassment and fourth-degree assault.

Swanger was arrested in April 2017 after a manhunt to find the suspect who set a man on fire days earlier in the restaurant across from the Clackamas Town Center on Southeast 82nd Avenue.

Investigators said the suspect was seated at a booth near 69-year-old Scott Ranstrom. Deputies said surveillance video showed the suspect dump liquid onto the victim and then toss a lit item at him.

A large flash resulted and the victim was critically injured.

The suspect got away, but several people recognized Swanger from surveillance images and contacted deputies.

Swanger was taken into custody at a transitional home near Southeast 80th Avenue and Sunnyside Drive, about a half-mile from the restaurant.

A possible motive was not revealed, as investigators said the suspect and victim did not know each other, but Swanger did express concern about Ranstrom’s family in April 2017, just before backing out of a jailhouse interview with FOX 12.

In August 2017, Ranstrom told FOX 12 from his hospital room that he spent two months in a medical-induced coma after the attack and still had a long road ahead of him. He said he did not hate Swanger, but he hoped Swanger would never be allowed out in public again.

Swanger’s sentencing is set for Tuesday.

As part of his plea agreement, additional charges of arson and assault were dismissed against Swanger.

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