Denied Money, Panhandler Allegedly Lights California Man, Car on Fire

PHOTO: A man was lit on fire by a panhandler outside a convenience store in Long Beach Friday afternoon.
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Police arrested a panhandler who reportedly lit man on fire outside a convenience store in Long Beach, Calif. after not receiving money.

The 63-year-old victim was hospitalized with third-degree burns. He is in critical condition.

ABC Los Angeles affiliate KABC reported Fridaythat a panhandler approached the victim walking into a 7-Eleven store and asked him for money. The victim said no.

When the victim left the store and got into his SUV, the 37-year-old transient reportedly doused him and the inside of his vehicle with a flammable substance and lit it on fire, engulfing the truck in flames with the man inside, KABC reported.

"With the door open you could see the entire insides were ablaze," one eyewitness told "Good Morning America." "He came out and he was horrifying. His entire shirt was on fire, his head was on fire."

Authorities said it was a random act of violence. The two men did not know each other, police said.

"It's a horrific crime to think that somebody's, really no motive, just sitting there, minding their own business and then to be lit on fire," Long Beach Police Sgt. Aaron Eaton told KABC.

KABC reported the transient was arrested and will be charged with arson and attempted murder.

Police have not released the names of the two men.

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