A 77-year-old Willits man squirted lighter fluid onto a man and told deputies he'd planned to set him on fire over a marijuana-related debt, Mendocino County sheriff's officials.
William Green was arrested on suspicion of attempted homicide, although he didn't set fire to the fluid, officials said.
After getting squirted with the chemical fluid in the face, the 20-year-old Ceres man ran from the house. He also reported Green brandished a gun at him as he left, officials said.
Green said the man owed him money from the sale of marijuana growing equipment. He told deputies the younger man called, wanting to buy some marijuana.
Green told him to come over for the purchase.
When the man arrived, he put some money on a table and Green took him into another room where he had the lighter fluid.
Green told deputies his plan was to douse him and light the man on fire.
Green told deputies he'd pointed a gun case at the fleeing man so he'd think he had a gun and wouldn't come back.
Green suffers from an undisclosed medical condition and so was not booked into county jail but was given a citation to appear in court, officials said.