Homeless man burned to death in stairwell in sick attack by callous thug

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A horrifying video shows the moment when a homeless man sleeping in the stairwell apartment building was deliberately set on fire by a heartless thug.

The man, who has yet to be identified, was completely engulfed in flames in the November 5 attack at Samuel Gompers Houses on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in New York.

A neighbour, who chose to remain anonymous, called the emergency services and told the operator they had thrown water over the burning man. They also said they thought that a crack pipe in his lap might have been the source of the blaze.

The severely burned victim was rushed to hospital but despite doctors’ best efforts died earlier this week.

Police are now treating the incident as a homicide and have arrested 27-year-old Nathaniel Terry, who lives in the same block on Pitt Street, New York.

Terry has already been charged with attempted murder, assault and arson, according to an NYPD report after he was arrested on the day of the incident.

Video obtained by The New York Post of the harrowing Nov. 5 attack shows an attacker approaching the victim and holding a cigarette lighter to the sleeping man’s ankle.

Flames slowly lick up his trouser leg until his body is completely ablaze.

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Residents at Samuel Gompers Houses expressed disbelief after hearing of Terry’s arrest.

One of them, who gave his name to reporters as John, said: “I can’t imagine him doing that, not with that guy.

“I’ve seen a lot of people coming and going from the apartment. [Terry’s] Mom is disabled. They’re really on top of that.

“He has a girlfriend. They have dogs. He plays with my dogs at the dog park. I would never suspect he would do this. I don’t think he’s that kind of person.”

He added that Terry always seemed like “an upstanding guy,”

A police source said that a lack of care from the city authorities was the root cause of the tragedy: “A total unmitigated failure to protect the homeless, mentally ill, anyone suffering with addiction,” they told the Post.

“Instead of providing safe, decent affordable low-income housing — you have the homeless, the drug addled camping out in stairwells turning the [Gompers] houses into an open air drug market and makeshift shelter.”

  • Fire
  • Crime

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