Man Charged in Torching of Homeless Woman in Van Nuys

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van-nuys-suspectVAN NUYS, Calif. (KTLA) — Prosecutors have charged a man suspected of setting a homeless woman on fire in Van Nuys with attempted murder.

Dennis Petillo, 24, of Van Nuys, is also charged with aggravated mayhem, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said.

He was expected to be arraigned Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court in Van Nuys.

Petillo is accused of dousing a homeless woman with rubbing alcohol while she slept on a bus bench and then setting her ablaze.

It happened early last Thursday morning outside a Walgreens store at Van Nuys Boulevard and Sherman Way.

Police have not released the victim’s name, but area residents identified her as 67-year-old Flo Parker, who was also known as Violet.

She remains hospitalized in critical but stable condition.

Investigators believe Petillo is mentally ill, and say there appeared to be no motive for the attack.

Prosecutors are requesting that his bail be set at $1 million. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Petillo has had previous run-ins with the law.

Since 2008, he has pleaded guilty twice to charges related to vehicle theft. The second time, he was sentenced to two years in prison.

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  • One man one voice

    This is a hate crime and this slime bag needs to be torched as well. Where's the mayor? If this had been an illegal alien burnt, he would be on TV every five minutes lecturing us. And the same goes for the loser police chief!

    • ScottyBoy

      That dumb beaner mayor Villarigosa is in beanerland Mexico with Charlie Sheen. Yes, believe it or not, he is partying with a white man in Mexico. Google it. The photo won't help his political aspirations I assure you.

  • daisey rigo

    uptil I looked at the bank draft which was of $4574, I be certain that…my… neighbour actualie bringing home money part-time at there labtop.. there mums best friend haz done this 4 only 6 months and resantly repaid the loans on there mini mansion and bourt Acura. go to ……. BIT40.ℂOℳ

    • ScottyBoy

      I have to agree, his profile does seem to strongly resemble that of a knuckle dragging gorilla. You can almost imagine him enjoying a banana as he picks his ass.

  • Kay Bell

    OMG you guys do know that we live in the year 2013 and racism is a terrible thing. You never know that black african DR. might just be the one to save your life…. i really hate the fact that my children (of mixed race) have to go through the same shit our forefathers went through to get us to see people as a people not as a color and now you guys are just bringing us back down..thus the reason for all the bullying and racial hate crimes in our schools….Damnit STOP all this bullshit and just live

    • ScottyBoy

      Well, if you hadn't have had mud babies, your kids wouldn't have to go through the same shit as your forefathers. Stick to your own race.

      • Sam05

        Its funny how @scottyboy has the balls to say all this crap online but i bet he does not have them to say it to anyone in person. Get a life loser!!!

  • Tee

    Shows you the times have not changed. the uneducated ignorant racist individuals will always be around. Must be tough to live such a miserble life that you feel the need to spew such disgust…while sitting behind a computer. For the record you obviously didn't know spanish as well as English is the official language of California. Evil comes in all colors, so does taking advantage of the PA system. Open your eyes!

  • Pray4violet

    does anyone know how violet is today? this is the important thing here…. no one else on here should speak of anything else other then the welfare of this women…