Man allegedly poured gas on GF

Man also allegedly choked and gagged her

A 23-year-old man frightened his girlfriend by allegedly pouring gasoline on her and setting fire to a house. He now faces six charges, including attempted first-degree murder and arson.

The alleged victim managed to run to her sister-in-law’s house. She was crying, shaking, and smelled of gasoline when a responding police officer met her. An eyewitness described her shirt as soaked with gasoline.

The suspect, John Piteg Teregeyo, had a bail hearing in Superior Court yesterday. He is charged with first-degree murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, arson, assault and battery, criminal mischief, and disturbing the peace.

Teregeyo is also accused of choking the alleged victim and starting a fire at their house on Saipan last Friday morning. The police report did not indicate the village where they live.

A $100,000 cash bail was imposed on the suspect; preliminary hearing is on Oct. 30 at 1:30pm.

Assistant public defender Cindy Nesbit represents Teregeyo. Assistant attorney general Teri Tenorio is prosecuting the case.

According to police, police officer Dixon Kwon responded on Friday to a report of a house on fire and arrived at the scene at 7:56am.

Kwon indicated that he could smell a strong odor of gasoline on the alleged victim and inside the house.

During the officer’s interview, the alleged victim stated that she and Teregeyo were having an argument in the house’s bedroom when Teregeyo went outside, brought in a container filled with gasoline, and spilled it around the entrance of the bedroom, inside the bedroom, and on his girlfriend’s body.

The girl tried to leave the bedroom, but Teregeyo allegedly choked her and pushed her, causing her to fall. That’s when she allegedly yelled for help. Teregeyo then allegedly shoved a shirt in her mouth.

Teregeyo then burned a cardboard box and dropped it on the ground, triggering a fire in the house.

The girl ran to the nearby house of a sister-in-law, where she locked the door.

Police detective Jenny Rose A. Butalon said that when she and another detective responded to the scene, they saw a pile of burnt clothes in the living room and noticed that the floor was wet. In the living room, another pile of burnt clothes was on the floor. The bed, pillows, wall, and closet also had signs of being charred. On the right side of the bedroom was a black cord plugged into the outlet on the wall that was also burnt and covered with black smudges.

Butalon said that she and other investigators interviewed Teregeyo at the Department of Corrections, where he admitted pushing his girlfriend several times on the chest, to prevent her from getting out of the room.

He also allegedly admitted putting a blouse inside her mouth to prevent her from screaming. He admitted pouring gasoline on the clothes, around the bed, and the closet, but said the gasoline just splashed on her.

Teregeyo allegedly admitted taking a piece of paper and burning it on a stove. While taking the lit paper to the living room, his girlfriend allegedly held his legs, causing the paper to fall on the bedroom door and start the fire.

The report did not indicate who put out the fire.

Associate Judge Kenneth L. Govendo presided over the bail hearing.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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