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Police: Westminster man threw gasoline on a stranger, tried to light him on fire

CBS News Los Angeles: The Rundown (Sept. 22 AM Edition)
CBS News Los Angeles: The Rundown (Sept. 22 AM Edition) 02:02

A man police threw gasoline on a total stranger and tried to light him on fire was arrested Wednesday by Westminster police.

Danh Thanh Nguyen, 36, of Westminster, was arrested immediately after a short pursuit ended with a collision with a small planter wall in the area of Brookhurst Street and Hazard Avenue. He was taken into custody without further incident and was not injured, Westminster police said.

Investigators say Nguyen had walked up to a man sitting in his car at about 11:45 a.m. Wednesday and made a derogatory comment about Hispanics before throwing a cup of gasoline on him. Nguyen had a lighter, but the man drove off before he could ignite the gasoline, police said.

Nguyen drove away in a vehicle he didn't have permission to have, just before he was spotted in the area of Bushard Street and Westminster Avenue, police said.

The man did not know Nguyen, according to investigators. He was not injured.

Nguyen was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, attempted arson, and civil rights violations. It's unclear if he will also face any hate crime charges. He is being held on $1 million bail and is scheduled to make his next court appearance on Sept. 26.

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