A Georgia man has been hospitalized in critical condition after he had his friends set fire to his head on a bet at a local bar.
It was originally reported that 36-year-old William Bonner, of Thomson, got into a fight with several other patrons at Allie Katz Bar in Augusta, and then had his face burned in retaliation.
However, a surveillance video from inside the bar has revealed that Bonner had purposefully had his drinking buddies douse his head with a shot of Bacardi 151 and put a match to it, according to the station WJBF.
In the black-and-white footage, which does not have an audio track, the visibly inebriated Bonner is seen getting ready to prove his friends wrong.
It takes his challengers two attempts to light his head ablaze, and when it happens, Bonner can be seen running around the bar like a human torch and trying to put out the flames.
‘I actually thought that this man has gone wild,’ said Allie Katz manager Keith Bussey, adding that he's has seen many crazy things done under the influence of alcohol before, but nothing quite like this.
‘They call him Ghost Rider in here from the movie, and it's exactly what it looked like,’ Bussey said, referring to the comic-book character that was portrayed on the big screen by actor Nicholas Cage in the eponymous 2007 film.
Lieutenant Blaise Dresser said unlike other people who set themselves ablaze and then post videos of their fiery experiences on YouTube, he doesn’t believe that Bonner was seeking his 15 minutes of fame.
‘The man who was set on fire bet his friends that he was drinking with that he could set his face on fire,’ Dresser said. ‘Obviously, no one believed him and he proved them wrong.’
The manager of the Allie Katz bar had a few words of warning to other patrons who may want to replicate Bonner’s bet.
‘Do not have your friend pour alcohol on your head and have your other friend light it and think that it's cool in front of women,’ Bussey said.
Lieutenant Dresser said there will be no charges filed in this case as Bonner has already suffered enough as a result of his ill-conceived bet.
Bonner was originally taken to GHS Medical Center before being transferred to Doctors Hospital, where he was listed in critical condition.