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East Chicago man charged with arson, battery

Frank Oliver is accused of strangling a woman, scalding her son and setting her home ablaze, prosecutors said.

A judge denied bail for a man accused of fatally shooting a woman and wounding a bystander July 25, 2020, in South Shore.
A man is accused of strangling a woman and burning her home Feb. 2, 2020, in East Chicago, Indiana.
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An Indiana man is accused of choking a girlfriend, setting her home on fire and scalding her son earlier this month in northwest Indiana.

Frank Oliver, 63, faces multiple felony charges including aggravated battery, arson and strangulation, according to court documents filed Thursday in the Superior Court of Lake County.

Authorities were called Feb. 2 to an East Chicago home after someone hung up a 911 call, according to an affidavit. A woman told officers her apartment was on fire and Oliver was inside. Firefighters rescued him from the building, and he was taken to St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago for treatment and put in police custody.

Earlier, Oliver and the woman got into an argument when she came home late, prosecutors said. He allegedly choked, scratched and pulled her hair before she was able to run to her mother’s home for help.

The son accompanied his mother to her apartment to ask Oliver to leave, prosecutors said. Oliver allegedly came to the door with a pot of hot water and threw it in the son’s face, burning 17% of his body. Oliver then shut the door.

The mother heard her son screaming and saw smoke coming from the apartment, prosecutors said. She and her sister threw bricks at a window and noticed a blaze inside.

The son was taken to a hospital in Chicago with second-degree burns to his arm, hands, neck, face and chest, prosecutors said.

The apartment was deemed uninhabitable because of the extensive damage, and it was ruled arson, prosecutors and fire officials said.

Bail for Oliver was set at $65,000, according to court records.

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