Chicago

Bail denied in attack on ‘Walking Man’ Joseph Kromelis

A Melrose Park man going through costs in the current attack on a neighborhood determine often known as “Walking Man” was denied bail in court docket Monday.

Joseph Guardia, 27, is charged with tried first-degree homicide and aggravated arson in reference to the May 25 attack on Joseph Kromelis, who was set on hearth. Police arrested Guardia Friday, two days after authorities launched stills from surveillance video exhibiting the attacker.

At a listening to Monday, Assistant State’s Attorney Danny Hanichak stated surveillance video exhibits Guardia approaching the sleeping Kromelis with a McDonald’s cup in hand. Guardia stood over Kromelis for 16 seconds, briefly walked away, returned, poured the cup over the sleeping man’s head and lit him on hearth, the prosecutor stated.

“This defendant did not target someone he got in an argument with, someone who wronged him, or someone that he even knew,” Hanichak stated. “This defendant decided to target the most vulnerable person possible: a 75-year-old homeless man sleeping on the street.”

Surveillance video later captured the attacker as he boarded a Blue Line “L” practice, then finally transferred to a Pace bus on the finish of the road in Forest Park.

Guardia was arrested after a Melrose Park resident acknowledged him and notified the police, Judge Charles Beach II stated. At the time of his arrest, Guardia was carrying the identical clothes seen in the video, Beach stated.

Hanichak stated Guardia admitted in recorded statements to discovering a McDonald’s cup full of gasoline and setting a pile of blankets on hearth. Guardia stated he was not conscious that an individual was beneath the blankets, the prosecutor stated.

In denying bond to Guardia, Beach known as the character of the attack “horrifying” and located that the defendant was a risk to the group.

Guardia was additionally wished on two separate arrest warrants for housebreaking, in response to court docket information.

Police have stated Kromelis was resting or sleeping in the 400 block of North Lower Wabash Avenue when he was attacked early Wednesday.

At the bond listening to, Hanichak described a horrifying scene in which Kromelis remained on hearth for roughly three minutes, attempting to extinguish the flames on his physique as he slumped towards the wall. Two Trump Tower safety guards rushed to assist Kromelis and luxury him till emergency responders arrived, the prosecutor stated.

Paramedics took Kromelis to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, the place he was listed in important situation. Authorities stated he suffered burns “to nearly half his body.” He was later transferred to Stroger Hospital’s burn unit. Kromelis is sedated, and docs don’t count on him to outlive the accidents, Hanichak stated.

Kromelis remained in important situation Monday on the hospital.

Known for his lengthy wavy hair, thick mustache, fashionable dress and quiet demeanor as he strolled by downtown for many years, Kromelis has been featured in information tales and movies and a documentary. Kromelis as soon as instructed the Tribune he “roams as a way of life.”

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