North Carolina

Suspect jailed after homeless man set on fire in North Carolina tourist town, cops say

If you witness a crime, here’s what to do

Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.
Up Next
Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

One person is behind bars after a 58-year-old man was likely set on fire in North Carolina and died, officials say.

Officers at about 1 a.m. Sunday found the homeless man with “severe burns” near a business corridor in the tourist hotspot of Asheville, the city’s police department said in a Facebook post.

He was taken to a Winston-Salem hospital’s burn center in critical condition, according to the post.

The man later died, police announced Thursday, according to the Citizen-Times and other news outlets.

Investigators said someone may have doused him with an accelerant and ignited it.

“This one is kind of very unusual, extraordinarily heinous (and) something that really kind of sends a chill down your (spine),” Lt. Sean Aardema told WLOS.

Police on Wednesday announced they had arrested Robert Charles Austin, 66, in connection to the incident. The Asheville man was charged with first-degree murder and was in jail with no bond, the Citizen-Times reports.

Asheville officers say they are still investigating the case, and anyone with information can call 828-252-1110 or 828-255-5050.

Related stories from Charlotte Observer

  Comments