Chicago's "Walking Man" dies months after being set on fire
Joseph Kromelis, known as Chicago's "Walking Man" has died, months after he was set on fire while sleeping on the street, CBS Chicago's Elyssa Kaufman reports.
Kromelis was sleeping when a man threw gasoline on his head and set him ablaze.
The 75 year-old wasn't expected to survive. But in September, Kromelis was released from the hospital and transferred to a rehab center.
Known for his signature long hair and mustache, and often seen wearing a sport coat, Kromelis was affectionately called "The Walking Man" by Chicagoans who frequently saw seen him roaming the city's streets for decades.
It wasn't clear if his death was a result of his attack. An autopsy was scheduled for later Monday.
The attack happened around 3 a.m. Police said a 75-year-old man was lying on the ground when another man approached him, poured a flammable liquid on him, set him on fire and ran off.
Police sources confirmed to CBS Chicago's Brad Edwards that the victim was Joseph Kromelis and had suffered burns over 40% of his body.
Police said a security officer at a building nearby jumped into action and used a fire extinguisher to douse the flames. Kromelis was taken to a hospital in critical condition.
Joseph Guardia, 27, of Melsrose Park, is charged with attempted first degree murder and arson, the Chicago Police Department said Sunday. Police didn't saly what led to the arrest.
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