The Oahu Grand Jury this week indicted Charles Burns with two felony counts on suspicion of setting a 79-year-old man on fire in Honolulu Chinatown, reports the Star-Advertiser.
The 29-year-old suspect is being held on $500,000 bail at the Oahu Community Correctional Center. The incident near the Chinatown Cultural Center occurred on April 12.
Video surveillance shows a man lighting the back of the 79-year-old man’s shirt. The Honolulu Emergency Medical Services treated the victim for first and second-degree burns on his back and neck, and later transferred him to a hospital in serious condition, according to KHON 2.
Chu Lan Shubert-Kwok, president of the Chinatown Business and Community Association said the 79-year-old-man is well known in the Chinatown area.
“Those who victimize our kupuna will be vigorously prosecuted,” Steve Alm, Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney, said in a statement. “This brazen and heinous attack cannot go unpunished and we will be seeking the maximum prison term for Burns if he is convicted.”
Burns could face up to 25 years in prison, according to Hawaii News Now.
A community member interviewed by Hawaii Now News said that Burns has a reputation for being “aggressive” in the area.
The incident has made many residents call for more security in Chinatown. According to Shubert-Kwock, the city is working to increase police presence.
“Foot patrol is number one to crime prevention,” Shubert-Kwock said. “We cannot emphasize that enough.”
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