Man arrested after setting homeless woman on fire at bus stop

Makeshift vigil for the burned woman 
By: Shifra Unger 

(Scroll down for video) A man was arrested after setting a sleeping homeless woman on fire at a bus stop, according to California police reports.

Police said the attack defies explanation. The man poured flammable liquid on the homeless woman, who is 67-years-old, while sleeping on a bus bench in the San Fernando Valley, then lit a match and set her on fire.

A witness called 911, and police arrested 24-year-old Dennis Petillo shortly after the attack Thursday morning. He was booked for investigation of attempted murder and held on $500,000 bail.

The man "just poured it on the old lady," a witness, Erickson Ipina told news reporters. "Then he threw the match on her and started running." Police released no details about Petillo. The victim's name was also retained.

Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief, Kirk Albanese, told the a California newspaper that it was unclear if the attacker spoke to the woman before the attack.

"There was no incident or conflict or clear motivation for this horrendous attack. He did not know his victim. This defies explanation," Albanese said. "He is not in his right mind. The reason is mental illness," he added.

The woman was taken to a hospital, where she was listed in critical condition.
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