Elderly man in Hawaii Chinatown set on fire, suspect charged  

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SF Gate

A 79-year-old Hawaii man sustained first- and second-degree burns all over his back and neck after a man set his shirt on fire. The attack took place at about 8 a.m. Tuesday in Honolulu’s Chinatown, KHON reported. The elderly Asian man was walking in Honolulu’s Chinatown Cultural Plaza, according to surveillance footage obtained by Hawaii News Now, when a suspect allegedly walked up behind the man and lit the back of his shirt on fire with what appeared to be a lighter. The suspect then immediately fled the scene. A bystander helped extinguish the flames on the man, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported, and called 911. The man was hospitalized in serious condition at a nearby hospital. His current condition remains unclear. The suspect was identified Thursday as 29-year-old Charles Burns. He was charged with first-degree arson and promoting dangerous drugs, Hawaii News Now reported. One community member interviewed by the news station said that Burns has a reputation for being “belligerent” and “aggressive” towards people in the area. He also had an assault charge from 2021 that is still pending.

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