Sunday, October 07, 2007

So it wasn't teen-agers this time

Felix Najera, 49, was asleep on a cardboard box outside an East Harlem church when someone lit his pants on fire. He remains in critical condition with second- and third-degree burns.

The Mexican imigrant worked in construction before alcoholism led to his downfall. He has two sons in the Navy.

A 29-year-old Bronx man has been arrested in the torching of a homeless man set afire as he slept outside an East Harlem church.

Tips from witnesses outraged at the attack led police to Israel Torres, who was charged with attempted murder and assault.

Initial accounts from witnesses that three teen-agers attacked the homeless man are now believed to be mistaken, police said. After investigating, police believe that the teens came upon Najera after he was set on fire and then they ran away, leading observers to wrongly assume they were responsible for the torching.

The motive for the attack remains unclear.

Read the WNBC report here.


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