LA homeless woman set on fire while asleep

For more than 10 years, the homeless woman slept on the same plastic bus stop bench at a busy intersection in the San Fernando Valley.

The 67-year-old was nestled in her regular spot early Thursday when the unthinkable happened: A man came out of a nearby drug store, doused her with a flammable liquid and set her ablaze. She was taken to a hospital, where she was listed in critical condition.

Witness Erickson Ipina called emergency services, and police arrested Dennis Petillo, 24, a short time later. He was booked for investigation of attempted murder and was held on $500,000 bail.

"He just poured it all over the old lady,'' Ipina told reporters at the scene. "Then he threw the match on her and started running.''

"There was no incident or dispute or clear motivation for this horrific attack. He did not know his victim,'' said LAPD Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese to The Los Angeles Times. "He is not of sound mind.''

The incident was at least the third in Los Angeles County since October where people were set on fire. Last week, a 55-year-old man was injured when he was torched as he slept outside a doughnut shop in Norwalk. Two months earlier, a man threw a lit Molotov cocktail at a man who had been waiting for his father outside a store.

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