Man accused of setting another man on fire in Santa Paula park arrested


Police say they've arrested a man on suspicion of setting another man on fire in a Santa Paula park on Sunday. 

Just before 7 p.m. on Saturday, witnesses say they saw the victim lying on a park bench on Saturday when someone beat him and then poured a flammable liquid on him, then lit him on fire. Firefighters and police officers responded to the call at the 100 block of South 10th Street the Santa Paula Police Department said in a statement. 

The attacker, who was later identified as Jorge Chavez, 35, was last seen leaving the park on a black bicycle. Police arrested him on Sunday night. Authorities say Chavez could face charges that include attempted murder, mayhem, assault with a caustic chemical and committing a crime causing great bodily injury. 

The victim was taken to a hospital and later transferred to a burn unit in Los Angeles. He reportedly suffered burns to more than 50% of his body and was in critical condition Sunday night. 

The Santa Paula police posted on Facebook that Chavez's bail has been set at $1,000,000. Investigators have not named a possible motive. 

The investigation is on-going. Anyone with information on the incident are being urged to contact Detective Randy Haumann at (805) 525-4471 ext 211 or rhaumann@spcity.org. 


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