Here’s something that is unfortunately not all that uncommon of late:
A homeless man sleeping on the beach in Ventura was doused with lighter fluid and set
on fire this weekend, then saved by a passerby who noticed the flames, police said.
The attack left John Frazier, 58, hospitalized with second and thirddegree burns to his face and
upper torso, Ventura police Cmdr. Tom Higgins told the Los Angeles Times.
About 11 p.m. Saturday, police received a call from a man saying he’d just used sand to extinguish
the fire, Higgins said.
The man, whose identity was not disclosed, told police he found Frazier near the terminus of
Seaward Avenue and that the man’s entire upper torso was on fire, Higgins said.
The flames were 5 to 6 feet high, the man told police.
When the attack began, Frazier was asleep in a sleeping bag with his backpack beside him, police
Frazier told police he had awoken to see three people pouring the lighter fluid on him and his
belongings and setting the fire, Higgins said.
I notice a tendency on the part of many commenters to translate such acts as incidents of “anti-homelessness,” or to paint the actions as being a statement against homelessness and those who become such.
The thing is, these cases of random violent assaults against homeless people has nothing to do with homelessness, per se.
There is no grand movement afoot which seeks to rid our streets of homeless people. These attacks are simply cases of sociopathic opportunism. Homeless people, like animals, represent an easy, mute target for the fledgling sadist. Unlike animals, homeless people sadly offer on inescapable advantage that a beaten dog doesn’t: they are human. For the sadistic sociopath, this is a progression, an inviting advancement in their evolution toward cold-blooded murder.
In a society where animals enjoy more sentimental value than humans, the homeless are the new beaten dog.