Police: suspect arrested after trying to set man on fire

September 22, 2022 GMT

WESTMINSTER, Calif. (AP) — A man was arrested after police said he threw a cup of gasoline on another man and tried to light him on fire in Southern California, authorities said.

Detectives were investigating the incident as a possible hate crime because the attacker “made a derogatory comment towards Hispanics” when he doused the victim in gasoline Wednesday in Westminster, police said in a statement.

The victim was sitting in his car at the time of the attack and was able to drive away before the suspect ignited the gasoline, the statement said.

The 36-year-old suspect was arrested after crashing while leading police on a short car chase. He could face charges including civil rights violations, attempted murder, and attempted arson, police said.

A motive was unknown. The victim and the suspect did not know each other, according to police.