A homeless man was being treated for second- and third-degree burns after three white males with shaved heads reportedly used lighter fluid to set him on fire while he was sleeping on a California beach.
According to KABC, a witness noticed that 58-year-old John Frazier was covered in flames that were 5 to 6 feet high at around 11 p.m. on Saturday night. The Good Samaritan used sand to put out the blaze, and then called 911.
“Three males that might have been involved in it actually used lighter fluid to pour on the victim’s sleeping bag and other items that were near him and set it on fire,” Ventura Police Commander Thom Higgins told KABC.
Police said that Frazier’s belongings were still smoldering when they arrived.
Frazier was transported to Community Memorial Hospital, and then to the burn unit at USC Medical Center. His upper torso and face suffered second- and third-degree burns, officials said.
As much as 40 percent of Frazier’s extremities were said to have been burned in the attack, but he was expected to survive.
Elaine Lutz told KNBC that Frazier was a “nice guy” who never bothered anyone.
“We were talking about how beautiful the sunset was and the fish sculptures and how nice the evening was and he was just a really nice guy,” she recalled.
The suspects were described by detectives as three white males in their late teens or early 20s with shaved heads and dark clothing.
Ventura Police Department are urging anyone with information about the crime to contact them at 805-339-4309.
Watch the video below from KABC, broadcast Jan. 18, 2015.