No motive in firebomb attack on man, Long Beach police say
Long Beach authorities said Monday there was no apparent motive or connection between the victim and assailant when a man threw a firebomb at another man sitting outside a market.
The 54-year-old victim was waiting outside the store in the 200 block of Pacific Coast Highway on Friday while his father was inside buying groceries, said Sgt. Aaron Eaton of the Long Beach Police Department.
A man walked up about 7 p.m. and threw a bottle filled with a flammable liquid at the victim, setting him on fire and critically injuring him. Police released surveillance video Sunday to help find the attacker.
There were several people around when the attacker threw the Molotov cocktail, including a baby who was in a stroller directly next to the point of attack.
"You see that flame go all the way out and see that flame almost engulf the stroller," Eaton said, adding it was amazing neither baby nor bystanders were apparently hurt.
The victim, whose name was not released, ran wildly into the parking lot after he was set on fire, and nearby witnesses ran to his aid, using jackets and shirts to put out the flames, Eaton said. The victim was taken to a hospital, where he was sedated and remained in critical but stable condition, Eaton said.
Employees at the market used water to put out the fire that had started next to the building, Eaton said. The victim and his father frequented the market regularly, often buying lottery tickets, Eaton said, adding that the local resident was known "to buy burritos at a local Mexican food restaurant and take them to the homeless."
Eaton said anyone with a tip should call the department's arson hotline at (562) 570-2582 or submit it at Crimestoppers.
He said police believe the assailant may have also burned himself in the attack and said people should report anyone with recent suspicious burns.
-- Ari Bloomekatz