Man suspected of burning toddler with lighter arrested, Facebook helps inform victim’s family
The man who allegedly burned a 2-year-old girl 90 times with a cigarette lighter last July has been arrested. Charles Jacob Nuglene, 22, was apprehended by police in Sparks, Nevada on May 15.
Sparks police Lt. Chad Hawkins said he tried to shoplift from a K-Mart. When officers arrived, he attempted to flee on foot.
“It was just a short foot chase until the officers caught him,” Hawkins said.
When they took him to jail, they discovered he had a warrant from Alaska filed in March for five assault charges. He also had a warrant for failure to appear on a marijuana possession charge, made by authorities in Reno.
“Those types of charges – you don’t see that a whole lot. I’ve been here a long time and I very rarely have seen anything come out of Alaska,” Hawkins said. “It was kind of a shock.”
While the arrest took place more than one month ago, some of the victim’s family said they had not heard about it. Earlier this week, some of them took to Facebook to try to find Nuglene, who they assumed was still on the run. Hundreds of people interacted with their posts on a Facebook page called “Anchorage Scanner Joe,” and similar posts were spread on other Alaska Facebook pages. On Wednesday, someone learned of the recent arrest and shared it with the family.
The uncle of the victim said he is grateful for “their determination to find [Nuglene].”
“A lot of our relief came from them. I just want to thank those guys,” said the uncle, who wished to remain anonymous.
Nuglene is currently in the Washoe County Jail, according to Hawkins. He will have to deal with the charges he faces there before he can be extradited to Alaska. He was charged with two counts of possession of marijuana, one of which was from an earlier incident in Reno. He was also charged with failing to appear in court for that charge. Finally, he was charged with one count each of resisting an officer and possessing drug paraphernalia, according to records from the Washoe Country Sheriff’s Office.
“Once those local charges are taken care of, then he would have the opportunity to either challenge the extradition or accept the extradition and it would go from there,” Hawkins explained.
Nuglene’s release is scheduled for July 13, according to the Sparks Municipal Court. The toddler’s uncle said he is anxious for Nuglene to appear in court in Alaska.
“I hope he does get what he deserves and doesn’t slip through the cracks,” he said. “He’s in custody now. He can’t do this to anybody at the moment. So that’s good.”
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