Steven Arciniega Staff Writer
The all too sad, all too strange case of Amanda Bynes is growing even more so, after an eyewitness account of her recent driveway fire incident was reported earlier today by The New York Daily News. The on-scene eyewitness, identified as 24 year old Thousand Oaks resident Andrew Liverpool, told the News he witnessed a sizable fire in a residence driveway and a woman lying next to the blaze attempting to put the flames out on her left pant leg. Liverpool did not immediately recognize the 27-year-old What I Like About You actress, but was struck by her “discombobulated” behavior and “large blond wig.”
“I pulled over and ran over and she was pantsless by this time, running after her dog,” Liverpool recalled to the News. “I asked her, ‘Where is your garden hose?’ I thought it was her house at first.” Liverpool described how Bynes was alone in the driveway with a burning gas canister and a large super soaker water gun. As the event went on, Liverpool recalls asking if the actress was injured but she replied “no.” Liverpool went on to move Ms. Bynes’ items away from the flames to the center of the driveway and yelled for someone to call 911, as four other witnesses arrived on scene. Within moments, Liverpool noticed that Bynes had disappeared from the scene, along with the scorched black pants.
Liverpool gave a statement to firefighters who arrived on the scene and then proceeded to drive around in search of Ms. Bynes. Reports suggest that Bynes then walked to a liquor store a block from where the fire took place and entered with her Pomeranian in her arms. A clerk at the store told the News that Bynes reeked of gasoline and proceeded to attempt to rinse off her dog in the store’s employees-only back room. “She was trying to wash the dog. She didn’t ask permission to go in the back on her own,” recalls Tony Darghali of Southwest Market & Deli. Mr. Darghali was not on duty at the time of the two-minute ordeal but heard about it from his co-workers.
Gossip website TMZ later obtained footage of the actress pacing around the store before heading straight for the employees-only door near the cash register. The video’s time stamp reveals that Bynes entered the store one minute after police received a call about the driveway fire. The home owner where the fire took place told the News that she did not know Bynes, although coincidentally enough, the actress’s parents live around the block.
As for Andrew Liverpool, he told the News that he spotted Bynes near the market’s strip mall and called 911. Liverpool observed Ms. Bynes on her cell phone, where moments later a taxi cab pulled up, as Bynes rushed into an intersection to grab it. Liverpool recalls, “I got there before she did and blocked her path and told the taxi driver not to take her.” At this point, Liverpool got a better view of the actress and realized who she was and that they had briefly attended the same high school. “Don’t touch me or I’ll call 911!” Liverpool recalls Bynes snapping at him, as he attempted to block her from entering the cab. Bynes climbed into the back seat of the cab and it sped off.
Fortunately, Mr. Liverpool’s 911 call alerted the police to the cab, where Bynes was found shortly after and taken into 5150 hold. Capt. Don Aguilar of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department said that there are no plans to launch a criminal investigation “at this time,” in regards to the fire. Later today, TMZ broke the story from an unidentified source that Ms. Bynes is exhibiting signs of schizophrenia and that her parents have plans to seek a court-ordered conservatorship.