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Homeless man allegedly sets fire to Ravenna Park pedestrian

A homeless camp in Seattle's Ravenna Park. (KIRO 7)

Thomas Warmack may go by the longtime nickname “Candle,” but he did not expect to be set on fire while out for a walk with his girlfriend at Ravenna Park two weeks ago.

He had just sat down on a bench near the park’s baseball field to make a phone call around 11 a.m. Suddenly and with no apparent provocation, a man came up to him and violently assaulted him.

“A guy comes running up, mumbling gosh knows what, and then yells out, ‘Stop [expletive] with me,’ when no one is even messing with the person, and tries to stab me in the neck with a coat-hanger, and attempts to stab me in the stomach with a big stick,” Warmack told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson.

Warmack yelled at the man to stop, and warned that he would call the police. In response, the attacker allegedly sprayed Warmack with bear spray, which is highly flammable, and set his arm and chest on fire.

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Luckily, Warmack and his girlfriend put the fire out quickly, but Warmack did not realize at first how serious the burns were. They were later deemed second-degree, he said.

He informed police of the attack and they later arrested the suspect. Police said that he is homeless and that this is not his first violent incident.

“Prior to attacking me, he came up and attacked a friend of mine’s husband,” Warmack said. “And before him, eight other people — so the guy was already known around Ravenna Park and the Ave area as someone who was attacking other people.”

While Warmack is relieved his attacker is off the street, he would rather the man spend time in a mental health facility than time behind bars.

“He needs mental health, not incarceration … lock him up in Western State,” he recommended.

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