Police look for suspect who set Chicago’s beloved ‘walking man’ on fire while he slept near Trump Tower

A homeless person widely recognized and beloved in the downtown Chicago central business district as the “Walking Man” or “Walking Dude” is in critical condition in a local hospital after he was set on fire while he slept near the Trump Tower loading dock early Wednesday morning.

Using surveillance video, cops have identified a suspect who allegedly first doused the victim, Joseph Kromelis, 75, with a flammable liquid at about 3 a.m. and then fled the area, purportedly heading to a subway station.

The alleged assailant “is wanted on suspicion of aggravated battery and arson,” according to the Chicago Tribune.

The elderly man suffered third-degree burns on 65 percent of his body before a security guard from a nearby building deployed a fire extinguisher to quench the flames.

Kromelis “is well known to people who frequent downtown Chicago, easily recognized by his tall frame, striking facial features, long flowing hair and bushy mustache,” the Chicago Sun-Times explained.

“Kromelis has been a fixture in downtown street life, often seen browsing inside stores and walking the streets of the Magnificent Mile and Streeterville,” the Chicago Tribune recalled.

“An alert issued by police Wednesday afternoon described the suspect as a tall male with a medium light complexion and wearing a black and white ‘Hoodrich’ jacket and gray sandals,” the Sun Times added. The investigation is ongoing; cops have yet to identify a motive for the attack.

Activists have offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a suspect.

A law enforcement source told the news outlet that Kromelis is tragically not expected to survive his burn injuries.

This was unfortunately the second time for Kromelis as a crime victim.

“It was 6 years ago, almost to the day, when Kromelis was beaten with a bat and hospitalized in another brutal attack,” Fox 32 reported on Wednesday.

“‘He has been walking and peddling on the streets of Chicago for at least the last 40 years,’” Vytas Vaitkus, whose mother was Kromelis’s sister, told Loop North News in 2016. ‘The streets are his home; the place he has always felt at home until [the 2016 attack],'” CWB Chicago reported.

“For folks living out here on the streets, it’s not safe. There is violence out here. We need to make sure everyone has somewhere safe to go,” a homeless advocate told Fox 32.

Watch a report on this ghastly incident aired by Fox 32:

Violent crime, including gun offenses, continues to soar under far-left Democrat Mayor Lori Lightfoot and is plaguing nearly every community in Chicago, with no end in sight.

Former Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass, an expert on everything Chicago, asserted on his blog that reasons behind the crimewave are “endlesss,” and the result of “the poisonous fruit of Democratic political policy that devastates the communities it pretends to help.”

All suspects are presumed innocent until or unless they are convicted in a court of law of any alleged crimes.

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5 thoughts on “Police look for suspect who set Chicago’s beloved ‘walking man’ on fire while he slept near Trump Tower

  1. ”looking for a man with a medium light complexion”….what are you…smokin your hair? He’s a black guy. If you’re going to tell a woke lie, ditch the picture.

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