Police arrest suspect who allegedly set elderly man’s shirt on fire in Chinatown
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu police have arrested a suspect accused of setting an elderly man’s shirt on fire in Chinatown Tuesday morning.
By mid-day Wednesday, Honolulu police said 29-year-old Charles Burns was arrested and faces charges of first-degree arson and promoting dangerous drugs.
Although surveillance video of the attack was blurry, John Fielding says he immediately recognized the suspect when he saw him on the news.
When asked how he knew it was Burns, Fielding responded, “We all know it’s him. Everybody in downtown knows it’s him.”
The volunteer minister at Our Lady of Peace Cathedral described the 29-year-old as a troublemaker and known drug user.
Law enforcement sources told HNN the suspect had a pipe on him when he was arrested.
According to police Burns is suspected of using a lighter to set fire to an elderly man’s shirt as he walked at the Chinatown Cultural Plaza.
EMS rushed the 79-year-old to the hospital with burns covering his entire back.
Sources say following the attack Burns was initially detained after being recognized by a security guard when he returned to the scene of the crime.
Nearby business owners who wanted to remain anonymous say they saw Burns too, walking down the sidewalk, in the neighborhood after the attack
“Yea, Yea. Looked like picture,” said one woman.
Fielding says he often finds Burns on church property. “He has this paranoia about him where he’s looking around.”
He says he’s had several interactions with the 29-year-old.
“He was engaging in drug use,” Fielding said. “He’s very belligerent and he’s actually been aggressive towards me in the past.”
Court records show Burns has more than a dozen arrests on his record for things like theft, a park violation and DUI but has never been convicted of any of those crimes.
An assault charge from last year is still pending.
Documents show no warrant was ever issued for Burn’s arrest.
Copyright 2022 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.