On Monday, a judge denied bail to an accused person charged with attempted first-degree murder for reportedly setting a homeless man on fire in downtown Chicago.
Judge Charles Beach of Cook County, Illinois, instructed Joseph Guardia, 27, to remain in jail after authorities accused him of splashing gasoline on “The Walking Man” while he was trying to sleep and starting the fire that critically injured him the other week.
“The offenses charged here today… are exceptionally brutal and heinous,” Beach said, according the Chicago Sun-Times. “The random and callous nature of your attack is horrifying.”
“It takes a special kind of evil to do what the defendant did,” Cook County prosecutor Danny Hanichak said. “He lit him on fire because he said he’s an ‘angry person.'”
Guardia admitted he “is an angry person who decided he was going to set something on fire,” according to the police report, but he denied any knowledge that he had set a person on fire.
WMAQ-TV reported that a security footage showed the victim, 75-year-old Joseph Kromelis, flailing and attempting to extinguish the fire while Guardia started to run to board a Chicago Transit Authority train on Wednesday.
Using surveillance video, officers followed Guardia across the city. Guardia, who has a facial tattoo, was reportedly arrested on Friday while wearing the very same white hoodie.
According to the doctors, Kromelis was on fire for 3 minutes. He continues to remain sedated in a hospital with burns covering more than 50 percent of his body, and he is expected to not recover.