The attack happened around 6:30 a.m. Monday near the corner of Calvert Street and Ranchito Avenue.
“His shirt was off. He ripped everything off and threw it on the ground. It was still on fire in the street,” recalled witness Bob Efford.
“Then we get out, we put a blanket on him, try to calm him down,” he said. “He knew what was going on. He was in a lot of pain.”
The man received burns to his neck, face and hands. He is expected to survive.
Investigators say they have no clear motive for the attack, but they believe it could have happened during a robbery attempt. Police have no suspects.
Neighbors say that the man had been to a 7-Eleven at Oxnard and Hazeltine to buy cigarettes and was on his way home when he was attacked.
The attack occurred just two miles from where a homeless woman was set on fire while sleeping on a bus bench back in December.
The LAPD’s prime suspect in that case has since pleaded not guilty.