CHICAGO — A 27-year-old Melrose Park man allegedly set fire to a homeless male known to locals as “The Walking Man,” according to Chicago police.
Authorities arrested Joseph Guardia last Friday and charged him with arson and attempted murder after allegedly dousing 75-year-old Joseph Kromelis with flammable liquid as he slept on Lower Wabash last Wednesday.
A security officer from a nearby building used a fire extinguisher to put the fire out.
Guardia is due in court Monday.
Kromelis has been a downtown fixture for decades, as he is known for walking miles daily through the Loop and beyond.
Paramedics last reported Kromelis to be in critical condition at Northwestern Hospital with burns to half his body. Locals have printed $25 t-shirts with Kromelis’ picture to help raise money for his recovery.