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Man sets himself on fire in Ill. shopping mall



Published: Sat, November 24, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Man sets himself on firein Ill. shopping mall

CHERRY VALLEY, Ill. -- A man shouting "freedom and liberty for all" set himself on fire in a suburban shopping mall Friday and hurled flaming objects at shoppers before he was subdued and hospitalized in critical condition, officials and witnesses said.

Four other people also were injured.

Witnesses said the man, identified by authorities as Richard Lewis, 27, was yelling about freedom as he leaned from a mezzanine railing and threw burning packages onto the CherryVale Mall's center court. The fire was just outside the second-floor entrance to a department store in this Rockford suburb.

Two shoppers subdued him and extinguished the fire that burned him. Security guards put out the burning packages.

Police said Lewis apparently doused himself with gasoline. He also carried a backpack containing jugs of gasoline and ammonia that he lit and dropped, but the backpack was extinguished before it could explode, Officer David Fiduccia said.

Lewis, who was not carrying any identification, was taken to Rockford's OSF St. Anthony Medical Center but was flown to Loyola University Medical Center outside Chicago, St. Anthony spokesman Gregory Alford said. Officials said 40 percent of his body had been burned.

Two men who grabbed him were treated for burns on their hands, and a woman was treated for smoke inhalation, Alford said. A 67-year-old woman remained at the hospital with difficulty breathing but was expected to be released.

Court affirms ban onman having more kids

MADISON, Wis. -- The Wisconsin Supreme Court affirmed a ban Friday preventing a father of nine who owes child support from having more children unless he proves he will support all his offspring.

David Oakley said the court overlooked significant facts in his case when it decided in July to uphold the ruling by Manitowoc County Circuit Judge Fred Hazlewood. The Supreme Court refused Friday to reconsider its decision.

Oakley was sentenced to three years in prison on one count of failing to pay $25,000 in child support. On two other counts of failing to pay child support, the judge delayed an eight-year prison sentence in favor of five years of probation.

The judge said Oakley will go to prison if he has any more children while on probation and refuses to pay child support. Oakley said the court did not consider the payments he had made prior to his probation, which he said amounted to 70 percent of what he owed.

Oakley has four sons and five daughters, ages 3 to 16, with four women.

Mass graves found

WARSAW, Poland -- Polish researchers said Friday that they have discovered mass graves at Sobibor, a death camp in eastern Poland that was razed by the Nazis after inmates staged an uprising.

Seven mass graves and the sites where several buildings stood were found, said Andrzej Kola, an archaeology professor supervising what he said was the first thorough study of the former camp.

The Nazis, who built the camp in occupied Poland in 1942, razed it in 1943 after an uprising in which inmates killed nine guards and tried to flee.

Three hundred Jews escaped from the camp, but dozens of them were killed in a surrounding mine field and most of the rest were hunted down over subsequent days.

New attraction opens

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. -- An indoor playground with mazes, trampolines and 40-foot slides opened Friday at Stone Mountain Park in a defeat for those who complained the Confederate memorial was becoming too commercialized.

The Great Barn, a playhouse designed to look like a 19th century barn, is the first stage in a redevelopment plan by Silver Dollar City Inc., which leased the park from the state in 1998.

Stone Mountain is sort of the Mount Rushmore of the Confederacy. The mountain is carved with the images of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.




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