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California

Glendale resident accused of trying to light sleeping homeless man on fire

Richard Smallets was charged with attempted murder after authorities say he tried to light a sleeping homeless man on fire.
Richard Smallets was charged with attempted murder after authorities say he tried to light a sleeping homeless man on fire.
(Courtesy of the Glendale Police Department)

A Glendale man was charged with attempted murder earlier this month after police say he tried to light a sleeping homeless man on fire.

Richard Smallets, 32, was arrested by the Glendale Police Department on Sept. 12 on suspicion of arson after authorities responded to a small sidewalk fire that erupted around 1:20 a.m. near Brand Boulevard and Harvard Street.

Tahnee Lightfoot, a police spokeswoman, said a pile of cardboard boxes that a homeless man had been sleeping underneath was set ablaze.

She said the man awoke to find the boxes on fire. He tried to extinguish the flames with a water bottle but was unsuccessful.

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The fire was eventually extinguished by members of the Glendale Fire Department.

A pile of cardboard boxes a homeless man was sleeping under was set on fire in Glendale on Sept. 12.
A pile of cardboard boxes a homeless man was sleeping under was set on fire in Glendale on Sept. 12.
(Courtesy of the Glendale Police Department)

While investigating the incident, Lightfoot said detectives were able to obtain surveillance footage from a nearby business that showed a man intentionally setting the fire and taking photos as the cardboard burned.

Smallets was eventually identified as a person of interest and was taken into custody.

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He is being held on $1-million bail.


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