Homeless man set on fire while asleep in San Francisco dies

October 14, 2021 GMT

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A homeless man died of his injuries after being set on fire while in a sleeping bag in a San Francisco street, police said.

The 43-year-old man told investigators he was asleep Friday in the Mission District when he woke up to find his sleeping bag in flames, police said in a statement Wednesday.

The man, whose name has not been released, was burned in the legs and was taken to a hospital, where he died Saturday.

The San Francisco Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled the death a homicide, and police are investigating and asking anyone with information to reach out to them.

More than 8,000 people live on the streets of San Francisco, where the median sale price of a house is $1.5 million, and they are easy targets for violence. Several have been killed in recent years in beatings, stabbings and other attacks.

Jennifer Friedenbach, director of the Coalition on Homelessness, said many of the attacks go unreported.


“Far too often, unhoused people experience hate-based attacks as members of a class of people who are scapegoated and typecast and vilified simply because they’re destitute,” Friedenbach said. “That hate has sadly been really amplified by a lot of policymakers in San Francisco who for decades have used (homeless people) as a political wedge and really further the dehumanization process that we believe directly drives up violence against them.”