Just Playing With Matches

20 year old Master Dobson showed up in the hospital emergency room with his 18 year old girlfriend on Sunday. The girlfriend had second and 3 rd degree burns. The hospital personnel called police to request an investigation on a possible assault.

Allegedly the two had been arguing earlier. And allegedly Dobson dumped rubbing alcohol on the girlfriend, then began lighting matches and tossing them at his girlfriend. The rubbing alcohol and her clothing caught fire causing the burns.

Dobson however has told police a different story. He has reportedly said that he had accidently cut his girlfriend and used rubbing alcohol to clean out the wound. And that he was just playing with the matches when her clothing caught fire.

Dobson was charged with assault. Dobson does have a criminal history. Reportedly he has had 9 prior arrests and was currently on probation. And one of the arrests was for domestic assault and 2 arrests for allegedly violating  protection orders. There is no mention of who the victim or victims were in those incidents.

Dobson was in court for an arraignment on Monday. Allegedly he showed up wearing the girlfriend’s name across his chest.

The girlfriend was admitted to the hospital burn unit and was reported to be in good condition.

abclocal.go.com         thejournalnews.com          newsday.com

What an incredibly ‘romantic’ (insert sarcasm) gesture to show up in court with the girlfriend’s name on his chest. And no doubt at some point (after telling everyone that it was an accident) he will express his ‘sincere’ apology for what happened, promise that it will never happen again, and possibly make other ‘romantic’ gestures. And if it follows the usual patterns, he will likely add in some phrase like, “if only you hadn’t” or “you made me” or some other similiar phrase, while at the same time- in private or only in select company- taking full responsibility for what happened. 

And this will likely keep up, until the girlfriend accepts the apology. Then things will be like they used to- until the next time. Statistics say that abuse doesn’t just end.

I hope the girl will take some things into consideration. First, he seems unwilling to take public responsibility for what happened. Second, at only 20 years of age, he already has an established history of domestic violence. And third, ‘romantic’ gestures only last for a short while- but domestic abuse lasts as long as the relationship, and leaves emotional scars that will remain even if the relationship ends. Scars that can be just as damaging as any physical scars she may have. Fourth, instead of increased love and loyalty, abusers often develop a type of contempt for their victims. After all, they know they wouldn’t stay after that type of treatment, and yet their victim did. And they also learn that no matter what they do, their victim will remain. She is 18 years old. Is that the type of life she wants to be living in 5 years or 10 years?

And if the girlfriend ever makes it to this blog, I hope she will spend some time looking back through previous posts here, as well as doing a little research on domestic violence before she ever gives any consideration to accepting any apology. Whatever her decision on the relationship, I do wish her a happy and peaceful life.

Dobson already has a reported history of criminal charges for violating protection orders, and the incident described shows a real risk of physical harm. If he gets out of jail for bond or whatever, it would be especially important that she be in a place of safety and a domestic violence shelter would be the place most likely to provide that safe place. It doesn’t seem fair that she should be the one to have to rearrange her life, because of him…. but the goal is to survive without further harm. And she is the one who is in need of that safe place.


Initially the victim told hospital personnel that it was an accident. But after some questioning, detectives felt they had enough to charge Dobson with a crime.

It is alleged that Dobson first threw a liquid that the girlfriend thought was rubbing alcohol on the her. He then began lighting matches and throwing them at her. When the first match didn’t catch her on fire, he lit some more. After she caught fire, the boyfriend and his mother helped her put the flames out.




  1. Vidalia11 said,

    December 12, 2006 at 5:21 pm

    The old “playing with matches” defense….very convincing! The girlfriend’s name across the chest is just a ploy to get sympathy from the court. It actually makes him lose credibility. I hope he’s going down for a long time.

  2. Becky J said,

    December 12, 2006 at 9:39 pm

    I hope that this young woman takes the opportunity to leave this situation and i hope that she has family and friends to support her emotionally as well as guide her in the right direction, i also hope that the hospital that she is in has offered her counseling thru there local domestic violence shelter. I will pray for her, and hopefully if she reads this web site that it will give her the strength to go thru with breaking things off with him, i know that was my biggest fear was feeling that i was the only one in the world that had this happen to them and it was because of my local shelter that i realized i wasnt the only one and that gave me the strength to leave and stay gone.

  3. moonlite said,

    December 15, 2006 at 3:19 am

    I have been in an abusive realationship and if i didnt know the situaution personally i would have felt the same way. You people read the media and assume that what your reading is true ,absolutly no faults in the story.This is life and what happened is truley upsetting but before you pass judgement against a young man and a young woman you should atleast know them. The media has painted a pretty vivid picture about what alledgedly happened…..first he threw alchol on her then set her on fire,then it was said that he rubbed it all over her body then set her ablaze…etc. I have the pleasure of knowing both parties and if anyone has the nerve to make a comment about this situation then it should be me or the people that surrounded them. oh yeah your probably saying but look at his record well look at it and tell me if you have ever come in contact with the police and tell me if you have ever felt harrassed or have been wrongfully arrested or profiled….GROW UP PEOPLE…..Dont you think their families dont have enough on their minds already then to go on a site and see people who have not an ounce of a clue about the people they so strongly judge. i WONDER HOW YOU WILL FEEL IF SOMETHING LIKE THIS HAPPENS TO THE PEOPLE YOU LOVE AND YOU SEE WHAT I JUST SAW….I WILL PRAY FOR YOU AS WELL AS THEM!!!!

  4. December 15, 2006 at 4:27 am

    Actually Moonlite, you may be prejudging a bit. At least one of the people who commented on this had previously been in an abusive relationship. And the reason they came to this site was because they recently lost someone close to them due to domestic violence. Many of the people who read here do have experience with domestic violence, either directly or indirectly. Thus they are aware that though some facts in the media may not correct, but they are also aware that police do not file charges unless they feel they have the evidence to support the charges.
    Though I do thank you for the information that he had “first he threw alchol on her then set her on fire,then it was said that he rubbed it all over her body then set her ablaze” as I was not aware that he had “rubbed it all over her body”. If you wish to correct an inaccurate fact, please feel free to do so.

  5. theoneandonly said,

    August 24, 2008 at 7:31 am

    I actually know the young man that was involved in this case..i know that he is, was and will always be an abuser. I am a close friend of the parent of his son and can remember the abuse he inflicted on her..i remember him kicking her down a flight of stairs when she was 5 months pregnant and having no remorse. i knew that this day was coming but no one believed me… he later abandoned his child and i believe that it was the one good thing he has done with his life…i loathe the day he is released back into society

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