Attacker Sets Homeless Man On Fire, Starts Taking Pictures Of His Crime

Richard Smallets has been arrested on charges of arson and attempted murder.

Glendale, CA – A California man has been charged with attempted murder for lighting a homeless man on fire and taking photos of the aftermath.

The attack occurred near the intersection of East Harvard Street and South Brand Boulevard just before 1:20 a.m. on Sept. 12, the Glendale Police Department said in a press release.

Glendale police and firefighters responded to a report of a “small fire on the sidewalk,” and arrived to find a pile of cardboard ablaze, according to the release.

Investigators learned that a homeless man had been sleeping beneath the boxes when he was awakened by the smell of smoke.

That’s when he realized that the boxes he was under had been set on fire.

The man scrambled to douse the flames with bottled water, but his attempts were unsuccessful.

Firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze, but is unclear whether or not the victim suffered any injuries.

Glendale detectives subsequently located video surveillance footage of the scene, which showed a man approaching the boxes and intentionally setting them on fire.

The suspect, later identified as 32-year-old Richard Smallets, then stood back and photographed the blaze.

Police located Smallets at Central Park, and arrested him for arson of an inhabited structure or property, The New York Times reported.

One day after the attack, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed an attempted murder charge against Smallets, who remains in custody on a $1 million bail, according to police.

The suspect pleaded not guilty on Sept. 16, KTLA reported.

He is due back in court on Oct. 30, according to The New York Times.

Glendale Police Department (GPD) spokesperson Tahnee Lightfoot said she couldn’t say whether Smallets knew the victim, The New York Times reported.

“When folks are unhoused, they’re vulnerable to all sorts of things, whether it’s the weather, violence, or criminalization and incarceration as a result of the fact that they’re unhoused,” Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles Senior Attorney Shayla Myers told The New York Times.

Approximately half of the country’s unsheltered homeless population lives in California, according to the paper.

As of June, the number of homeless people in Los Angeles County was up 12 percent from the year prior, The New York Times reported.

An estimated 44,000 of those 59,000 citizens had no shelter.

Comments (19)
No. 1-14
Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

This is down the street from me. You see these kinds of typical dead eyed individuals from time to time. What a thug. I bet his family is proud of him!

JBo
JBo

I think this would be an excellent time for "Turn about is fair play" with this defendant.

LynnSB
LynnSB

What a F*cking WASTE of Oxygen -- !!!

ProGODProUSA
ProGODProUSA

What is wrong with people like this nasty man? Does he think this is amusing to torture another human being? I'd almost want to put a lit match or a lighter up against his finger to let him feel how much it hurts to get a burn.

RetAFVet
RetAFVet

@Marse Robert 🦗🦗🦗🦗 on this one after your comments ref a certain group earlier.

Vodkabreakfast
Vodkabreakfast

Filming your evil crime shows that not only are you determined to frost your cake of stupidity, you are also dedicated to assisting the prosecution later. It’s completely craptacular!

Anomie88
Anomie88

Only in California.

Marse Robert
Marse Robert

buddy was just doing a controlled burn, cleaning up the place.

Rascal1966
Rascal1966

What a f••king piece of sh•t scumbag!! Please sentence him to the full extent of the law!! No deals or lesser charges. You've got the whole thing recorded by the perp himself!! It's a slam dunk case!! But then again it's liberal hug-a-thug Commiefornia!!

Stanracer
Stanracer

Calicrazy!🤔

tfort
tfort

What a horrible thing to do to another human. What was he thinking, at least they got him.

George ziegler
George ziegler

Just shoot the SOB!

AprilShowers2
AprilShowers2

You have to be crazy and deranged to do something this sickening. @Marse Robert you rank right up there with the truly disgusting. Be carful what you say. Someday you could end up homeless yourself.

DNW
DNW

Smallets is also a transient. The fact was mistakenly omitted in the original police statement.