Seeking witnesses in the case of a homeless man who was set on fire this month, Ventura police are asking the public for help identifying people visible in surveillance images from that night.
The two males and one female pictured "are just people that we think were in the area around that time that may have been witnesses," police Cmdr. Darin Schindler told The Times on Monday.
About 11 p.m. on Jan. 17, the homeless man, John Frazier, 58, was sleeping on the beach in Ventura when he was doused with lighter fluid and set on fire, police said. A passerby noticed the flames and helped extinguish the blaze with sand, but by then the attackers were gone.
Frazier sustained burns over nearly 40% of his body, including second- and third-degree burns to his face and torso. He remains hospitalized in stable condition, according to police. He is expected to survive.
Frazier had been sleeping near the end of Seaward Avenue. Police said he told them he awoke to see three people pouring the lighter fluid on him and his belongings and setting the fire.
He described the attackers as white males in their late teens or early 20s, all of them with shaved heads and wearing dark clothing.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Ventura Police Department at (805) 339-4309. Those who wish to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477. A reward of up to $1,000 is being offered for information that leads to an arrest.
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