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Father says attempted murder suspect not a monster

'He's got rage in him'
Posted at 6:00 PM, Jul 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-22 18:32:38-04

WILLOUGHBY HILLS, OH — As his son sits in jail charged with a horrific crime, Allen Crawford's father insists his son is no monster.

"My son could be the kindest person you even met," said Albert Crawford. "You'd want to be his friend. At other times, he just didn't listen. He's got rage in him. Does stupid stuff."

Willoughby Hills police say Crawford showed up at his the apartment where his girlfriend was staying with her sister, pulled a gun on the women, bound them with tape, stabbed them, sprayed them with lighter fluid and set them on fire.

Investigators say one of the women, 22-year-old Alycia Barney, was able to call 911 just after 5:15pm Sunday.

Smoke alarms could be heard in the background as she told a dispatcher she had been on fire.

"Is there anybody else with you?" asked the dispatcher.

"My sister and she's dying" said Barney.

Detectives say Allen Crawford and Barney's sister, Vaneejsha Reese, dated on and off for the last seven years.

They say Reese started staying with her sister in the Willoughby Hills Towers a few days before Sunday's attack.

"It's been a rocky relationship from my understanding," said Detective Ron Parmertor from the Willoughby Hills Police Department.

Records show Crawford was charged with domestic violence in 2015 in Cleveland Municipal Court, but that case was later dropped.

"He's a good kid and she's a good person at heart," said Crawford's father, "It's just one of those situations, I never knew he'd do this."

Police say Crawford took the couple's three kids from the apartment after the attack.

They were found at his parent's home in Cleveland unharmed. Crawford later surrendered to police.

Parmetor said he confessed, but a motive for the attack wasn't clear.

"He was upset," said Parmetor. "He was drinking, he blacks out and didn't recall."

Investigators say Reese is in critical condition.

Barney is still hospitalized but is stable according to police.

A judge ordered Crawford held without bond Monday. He's charged with two counts of attempted murder and two counts of kidnapping.

His father says Crawford suffers from depression and has attempted suicide in the past. He teared up Monday recalling his last conversation with son.

"Just take care of my kids dad," said Albert Crawford. "I love you. I'm sorry about this, but it doesn't change what happened."

RELATED: Suspect in custody after 2 women found bound, stabbed and set on fire in Willoughby Hills