/Man tried to set sleeping homeless man on fire and took photos of the blaze, police say

Man tried to set sleeping homeless man on fire and took photos of the blaze, police say


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Man tried to set sleeping homeless man on fire and took photos of the blaze, police say

Richard Smallets, 32, was arrested in Glendale, California and is accused of a homeless man’s encampment on fire as the man slept in it.

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A California man faces arson and attempted murder charges after allegedly lighting a homeless man’s cardboard encampment on fire while the man was sleeping in it.

Richard Smallets, 32, was arrested in Glendale, California — less than 10 miles north of downtown Los Angeles — and is also accused of taking pictures of the blaze.

An investigation by the Glendale Police Department, per a press release issued Tuesday, said a homeless man awoke to the smell of smoke and found the cardboard box encampment he was sleeping under was on fire. The fire was set near the Museum of Neon Art.

The man unsuccessfully tried to put it out with bottled water, but the fire was later put out by the city’s fire department.

A nearby business recorded footage of Smallets intentionally setting fire to the boxes,  police say. After questioning, officers arrested Smallets in connection with the fire. 

Smallets was charged with attempted murder and arson Sept. 13, and remains in custody. He is set to appear in court Wednesday. His bail is set at $1 million.

Glendale police did not immediately respond to a request for comment from USA TODAY.

Follow Joshua Bote on Twitter: @joshua_bote

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