Richard Smallets, Glendale, California man charged with attempted murder after attempting to set sleeping homeless man on fire while taking pictures of blaze.
What to think, what to say? A California man accused of lighting a sleeping homeless person on fire and then taking photos of the ensuing blaze was on Tuesday charged with attempted murder.
Richard Smallets, 32, was arrested earlier this month in connection to an arson investigation in Glendale, a city in Los Angeles County, according to court records.
Glendale police responded at around 1:20 a.m. on Sept. 12 to help firefighters extinguish a small sidewalk fire.
A homeless man told investigators he was asleep underneath cardboard boxes when he woke up to the smell of smoke. He said he attempted to put out the blaze with bottled water before fire crews arrived, the Glendale Police Department said in a press release.
Glendale man setting homeless man on fire motive unknown:
Detectives obtained surveillance video from a nearby business that showed a man intentionally setting fire to the cardboard structure and pausing to take pictures of flames, the press release said. Smallets was later identified as a suspect and placed under arrest.
Authorities do not believe Smallets knew his victim prior to the ‘incident.’
Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office charged Smallets with attempted murder the next day. He pleaded not guilty during a previous court hearing on Sept. 16, KTLA reported. The man remains held on a $1 million bond following Tuesday’s arraignment and formal charging.
It remains unclear why Smallets had sought to set the homeless man on fire.