Cops: Man doused girlfriend with gas, threw lit cigarette

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An Inwood man was arraigned Tuesday on charges he strangled his girlfriend, doused her with gasoline and "threw a lit cigarette on her," although the victim told the judge she was not harmed and didn't want to file charges.

Danny Gonzales, 31, of 385 Bayview Ave., who works for the Hempstead Town sanitation department, pleaded not guilty to these charges: first-degree attempted arson, second-degree attempted murder, first-degree attempted assault, first-degree reckless endangerment, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, third-degree menacing and two counts of fourth-degree criminal mischief.

The victim, who Nassau police said suffered a burn to her foot but did not seek medical attention immediately after the attack, escaped and reached a neighbor, who called authorities.

The woman showed up at Gonzales' arraignment in First District Court in Hempstead Tuesday with her baby.

"Were you hurt, ma'am?" Judge Donald Birnbaum asked.

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"No," the woman replied. "I don't want to proceed. I don't want to go further."

Minutes earlier, a prosecutor told Birnbaum his office intends to prosecute Gonzales. The prosecutor said the woman told authorities that "this had been done to her before" but this is the first time she felt "he was going to kill me."

The Nassau prosecutor asked for $200,000 bond or $100,000 cash bail. Birnbaum set bail at $5,000 bond and $2,500 cash.

The woman, who declined to speak with a reporter Tuesday, was raising money to get Gonzales out of jail.

Gonzales' attorney, Vito A. Palmieri of Mineola, said his client voluntarily surrendered to police Tuesday and although the argument might have "gotten out of control," added that what police had described did not happen. Palmieri declined to elaborate, beyond saying Gonzales denied the allegations.

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