Homeless man doused in flammable liquid, set on fire while sleeping under Trump Tower; suspect wanted

Chicago Police have released surveillance pictures of a man wanted for setting a man on fire downtown.

A charred wall shows the exact spot of this vicious crime. Police say a 75-year-old man was sleeping on North Lower Wabash, near the loading dock for Trump Tower early Wednesday morning, when another man poured flammable liquid on him then ignited it.

"That's pretty insane. I just keep saying insane because somebody was set on fire," said Sarah Vulpio as she walked near the crime scene.

Police released pictures of the suspect. A tall man in a Hoodrich jacket who fled on the CTA blue line.

As for the victim, he's known by many as 'The Walking Man'. His real name is Joseph Kromelis. He's been seen walking Chicago's streets for years. It was 6 years ago, almost to the day, when Kromelis was beaten with a bat and hospitalized in another brutal attack.

A security official working near the site of the attack had used a fire extinguisher to put the flames out. Kromelis was taken to Northwestern Hospital in critical condition with burns to 65 percent of his body.

Those who work with the homeless community say this attack shows the need for change.


"For folks living out here on the streets, it's not safe. There is violence out here. We need to make sure everyone has somewhere safe to go," said Ali Simmons who works with the Law Project of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.  He says more affordable housing is needed to get people safely off the streets.

"It's time out for passing the buck and not doing anything about a problem that we know is very serious and it's costing people their lives," said Simmons.

As the Walking Man fights to survive, police ask for the public's help finding the man suspected in this cold blooded attack.