Richard Smallets was charged with attempted murder and arson after he allegedly set a homeless man's cardboard encampment on fire.
A California man was arrested and charged with arson and attempted murder after he set a homeless man on fire. The suspect later identified as Richard Smallets, 32, was arrested in Glendale, California and his bail has been set at $1 million, reports CBS News. On September 12, the homeless man was sleeping inside a cardboard box when Smallets allegedly lit it on fire and took pictures of his deed as well.
According to USA Today, the homeless man woke up to the smell of smoke and was shocked to find the cardboard enclosure on fire. On September 25, the Glendale Police Department released a statement informing the public that the officials were alerted about the incident that took place near the Museum of Neon Art, at approximately 1:22 a.m. "Investigation revealed a homeless man was sleeping under cardboard boxes when he was awakened by the odor of smoke. He realized the cardboard was on fire and attempted to put out the flames with bottled water, but was unsuccessful," read the statement.
After the emergency call was made, the local Fire Department was quick to arrive on the scene and put out the fire. "The Glendale Fire Department quickly arrived on scene and extinguished the flames," continued reading the statement. Upon further investigation, the police were able to retrieve a surveillance video from a nearby business that showed a man purposely setting the cardboard encampment on fire before clicking pictures of the same.
"Later that afternoon, Glendale detectives responded to the scene and retrieved video surveillance from a nearby business that captured footage of a male intentionally lighting the cardboard on fire and then taking photos," said police. After Detectives continued their investigation and contacted a male, identified as Richard Smallets, at Central Park. After questioning Smallets, detectives connected him to the arson investigation and he was subsequently placed under arrest," said the Glendale Police Department."
Police authorities are yet to establish a motive behind Smallets heinous act. However, he was arrested less than 10 miles north of Los Angeles on September 13 and remains in police custody. According to reports, on September 16, Smallets plead not guilty in court, however, all the evidence seemed to be pointing right at him. After Glendale Police Department posted the details of this investigation on their social media page, Facebook users slammed Smallets for his unspeakable actions.
Man tried to set homeless on fire and took picture of the blaze. Psychopath should be arrested and charged with hate crime and attempted murder, minimum. https://t.co/GT5ieP6FpO— Myrna Lim (@Myrnastwit) 27 September 2019
@Margarita Torres wrote: This homeless man is already down on his luck and you get someone like this who wants to make his life worse, its horrible how some people have such cold hearts these days. I hope the homeless man is ok. Smallets must feel like a big man messing with the less fortunate 😡😑 Another Anne Abraamian wrote: Something definitely wrong with his head. Getting ideas from eagle rock fire idiots. We had firefighters in my backyard and had to evacuate. Besides the point of trying to hurt another human. He should remain in custody. Another Laura Ellen wrote: What a sick freak. 🤬🤬🤬 Trying to kill a homeless person by setting his cardboard home on fire... just unreal. 🤬🤬🤬 Great job, Glendale PD!!!!! 💪🏼 You make our hometown safe 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻