Robert Charles Austin arrested after setting Asheville, North Carolina homeless man on fire. Motive not known.
Robert Charles Austin, 66, of Asheville, was taken into custody just before 2 a.m. Following his arrest the man was charged with attempted first-degree murder, the Asheville Police Department said according to a released statement on Facebook.
Investigators said Austin set on fire the 58-year-old homeless man on Sunday near a business in a popular tourist area in Asheville.
The man suffered severe burns leading to him being hospitalized in critical condition.
Austin is believed to be homeless and is known to frequent the area near the Veterans Restoration Quarters on Tunnel Road, police said according to WYFF4.
It was not clear whether the two homeless men knew each other.
Investigators said it appeared the victim was doused with an accelerant and then set on fire.
Police were asking for help finding two potential witnesses to the attack. They were driving a white GMC Sierra pickup truck and a silver Jeep Liberty SUV.
Neither was considered a suspect, police said.
Police have yet to say what motivated Austin allegedly setting the homeless man on fire.
Austin is being held in the Buncombe County Jail on a $250,000 bond.
Anyone who has information concerning the incident in question or potential witnesses is asked to call APD at 828-252-1110 or Asheville-Buncombe Crimestoppers at 828-255-5050. Callers may remain anonymous with both numbers.