Man Accused of Setting Homeless Woman on Fire Charged in Attack

CBS Los Angeles, December 31, 2012

A Van Nuys man has been charged with attempted murder and aggravated mayhem for allegedly setting a homeless woman on fire in the San Fernando Valley.

The suspect, identified by authorities as 24-year-old Dennis Petillo, is scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court in Van Nuys.


According to authorities, the 67-year-old victim was asleep on a bus bench at Van Nuys Boulevard and Sherman Way when she was doused with flammable liquid and set on fire.

Witnesses allege that the suspect purchased what may have been rubbing alcohol from a Walgreens store nearby and then walked out of the store and doused the victim.

Although critically injured in the attack, authorities report that “Violet” is expected to survive her injuries.


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  • Luca

    Gee, no mention of motive? I know that area very well, it has spiraled into a third-world cesspool, like so many other places in So. Cal.

  • FourFooted_Messiah

    Well, it must be a hate crime. People sleep on park/bus benches all the time in big cities – I don’t see a bunch of rich white guys being a posse to get rid of poor people by fire (they just seek to destroy us through more insidious, less obvious reasons – ie, white people don’t want janitor jobs, so lets give those jobs to Somalis – but I’m a white janitor who likes my job?)

    White collar white people destroy you through subtle means. Only “minorities” like to kill by the most obvious.

    • EndTimesComing

      I’m a white guy who was a janitor for years. I had no problems with that. I didn’t feel it was beneath me. I did the best I could. Sure, later I went to college, and got better jobs, but I didn’t hold it against those richer than me whatever job I held. We ALL want to be the rich white guy. What we don’t want to be, and don’t want to emulate, is a black in ANY income strata. I would hope. You seem to have issues with success. I only have issues with blacks. With reason.

      • Tim

        Janitorial work reminds me of a scene that changed my life. I was watching a daytime movie and hating my Happy Hour bar job. It showed an old man teaching a youngster how to paint in an empty room. After a few days the boy breaks down. “I can`t do this!! You sit by yourself all day long and never see a soul!!” The old man turns but keeps painting and says, “That`s the beauty of it…”

        • Morris Thecat

          ahhhh… he was married

        • FourFooted_Messiah

          That makes me smile.

          Yes, I aways liked best those jobs where you just did what you were told, and didn’t have to deal with the public. But then, I’m pretty good at doing what I’m told, and don’t mind it …. but I can’t stand people in my face all day, and can’t wear a phony smile all the time. I’d rather be scrubbing crap by myself than have to smile while someone is yelling at me over soggy fries or something.

          • stewardofthemystery

            “Yes, I aways liked best those jobs where you just did what you were told, and didn’t have to deal with the public….”

            I’ve gone through numerous jobs were I would have to deal with the public so to speak, and they dont last that long. The jobs I always seem to keep are the ones where I am able to work by myself. They have also happened to be the higher paying ones as well.

      • I’m currently a breakfast fry cook at a bar near my apartment, because Todd didn’t win ergo I’m not a Senate staffer, and the accounting industry is dead around here in terms of hiring, and the temp agency I used to use has suddenly become a dry well, too. I’m not getting used to indolence, no matter how many crummy eggs I’ve got to fry.

        • falsedawn

          become the best grill man there is.

          • Thanks for the encouragement, and I’ll definitely do that.

            But it’s breakfast food. It’s either eggs, bacon, sausage, hash or some combination thereof, destined for the stomachs of people who just woke up and are that hungry so their palettes aren’t in a discriminatory mood. So it’s a pass/fail class, so to speak. I won’t be on Iron Chef any time soon, or ever.

            And also…I’m limited to 29 hours a week all of a sudden, have been since I started. Gee, I wonder why.

        • Michael_C_Scott

          Perhaps you need some of your own trademark recepies. I made Korean bulgoki hamburgers for us for lunch today with kimchi and wild lettuce and chard under the toasted buns. They made us feel warm inside after we were done eating.

      • FourFooted_Messiah

        I admire successful people – but I don’t admire successful people who try to stomp on everyone else to try to keep them down (within their own society). I was thinking of the bankers/moneymen who lure the middle (and even lower) class with shiny credit cards, and then cackle with glee as the debt destroys them – and then turn around and offer the poor sucker YET ANOTHER credit card. That’s just evil, in my books, like the proverbial devil leading people to their own destruction (Lord, lead us not into temptation …. I seem to recall that line from somewhere …)

        Taking low level jobs away from us, telling us we don’t want them and giving them to imported people is another one of those insidious ways of destroying you and me.

        Anyway, you see that sort of thing even in trivial settings. Ever hang around an MMO forum site? You have some folks who think they’re “elite” gamers (like that matters at all) who put down “casual scrubs”, and think games should be just for them (“Damn casuals, because of them this game is now so easy my granny could play it” – well, I’m that granny, thanks) They won’t help YOU play better, no, they just want to jeer. The sad thing is, I don’t think they’re all teenagers.

        Yet not all the high and mighty (in whatever setting) are that bad, I know that. Some DO like to give an INDIVIDUAL a hand up. I do, too, whether it’s a couple of bucks for some poor panhandler on the street, or advice for what gear to get in a game (and thank you, “Elitist Jerks”, for your helpful website). But that’s just called “paying it forward”.

        • AutomaticSlim

          Disagree on the credit card scenario you describe, as personal responsibility has to come into play there. Should not the average person have the self restraint to live within his/her means? People who put themselves into a debt hole has no one but themselves to blame. And remember that the banks are limited in who they can decline for loans by what I believe are unconstitutional laws such as the community reinvestment act.

          But I do agree with you on hiring foreigners and non-whites for blue collar jobs. American citizens should always get first crack at all jobs, whether blue collar or white collar. And these “anti-discrimination” laws should go out the window too. If business owners want to hire their own kind, how is that the government’s business? We should also crack down on the H1B visa program and anything else that makes it easier for corps to hire cheap labor.
          No foreign workers unless the US unemployment rate is 0%, and even then, we should be very selective as to which countries are allowed to send guest workers. I would say first world countries only.

        • Anyway, you see that sort of thing even in trivial settings. Ever hang around an MMO forum site?

          You’re also describing ham radio to a tee. It’s probably the hobby bar one where there is the most arrogance yielded by long timers at newbies.

      • Michael_C_Scott

        I did evening janitorial work one of my summers home from college. I worked 7:00 to 17:00 Monday to Friday delivering and installing office furniture for a company that made it, and 19:00 to 23:00 cleaning offices the same days. My friends said I was turning into a zombie, and I still don’t know how I did it for three months.

        I certainly don’t want to do that again, but on the plus-side, if there is ever a zombie apocalypse, perhaps we could put the walking dead to work. On the down-side, we were spectacularly unsuccessful when we tried that with Africans.

      • newscomments70

        Some Mexican guy the other day was pontificating: “You whites try picking lettuce, LMAO!”. I replied that I did not pick lettuce, but I cut grass for a living from the time on I was 12 until I was 19. From ages 16 to 24, I moved furntiture and heavy appliceances to work my way through college. I loved working these jobs at that time. Such work is perfect for a male teenager or college student. I miss the those days, as complexity yields stress. They assume we all slack off and live the high life…that we are “privelidged”. I imagine that their only contact with whites are white liberals. White liberals really are privileged, at our expense.

        • Some Mexican guy the other day was pontificating: “You whites try picking lettuce

          Tell the fool — There’s a nice way to advocate for his own Raza: Brag that theirs have the world’s competitive advantage on lettuce-picking stoop labor. A clever enough machine would make Mexico obsolete, apparently.

          But even if Mexican humans and only Mexican humans could harvest lettuce, we already have enough here to keep us fixed for lettuce pickers for, well, forever.

        • Michael_C_Scott

          “You whites try picking lettuce, LMAO!”

          Many whites enjoy vegetable gardening at home, and those of us who grow lettuce and tomatoes do in fact pick our own produce.

          On the other hand, you wetbacks try producing computers and jet airplanes; LROFL!

  • Some Guy

    If is this is what they do when they are bored or just having fun, I can only imagine what they will do when their EBT cards run out of money..permanently.

    • Luca

      Odds are he was stoned out of his mind and it triggered his ever present inner white-hating rage.

  • William Allingham

    from this report we can see that being nice never pays if there are blacks around, in fact “being nice” is a handicap if youre surrounded by violent dishonest people.

    BTW i love patillos hair it contrasts so much with his face.

  • EndTimesComing

    Just the American version of Nelson and Winnie Mandela’s “necklacing”. But it’s a black thing for certain.

    • Sloppo

      I believe this is a kind of crime which blacks commit much more frequently than whites, but I do remember seeing a news video of a white kid doing this once. Regardless of race, people who do that sort of thing deserve the worst punishment possible.

      • stewardofthemystery

        An “eye for an eye” would be a fitting punishment if you ask me.

        Speaking if which: remember the story of the black man that gouged out that DJ’s eyeballs? Blacks are the most savage animals on earth.

        • There was another eye-gouging attack a few months ago. Some guy used a spoon to gouge out the eyes of his uncle. Two blacks again.

          • josh

            They didnt see eye to eye?

    • The__Bobster

      Recently I’ve seen quite a few cases in Philly where burning vehicles/houses contained dead bodies.

  • Ronald.

    In turning to this “also ran” story, the “news” commentator summed it all up by calling the report “Other news”. Local “news” media sources that troubled themselves to report this story soon returned to their “Black as victim” mantra.


  • At least it didn’t rape her. Always that silver lining.

  • bigone4u

    I’ve noticed that the Huffington Post never seems to report this type of story. Yet, when a white kid passes a piece of fried chicken to a black kid, they work their readers up with all sorts of claims of rampant white racism. It is truly a despicable “journalistic” endeavor over there. They do their best to foment white guilt and black hatred of whites.

    • tickyul

      Same thing with DU…..they only report stories that support THEIR reality and ideology. Many libs are living in a dream world of their own making.

    • This reminds me of the horrific torture murder of that little 12 year old white boy, Jonathan Foster (see details below) a couple of years ago, who was slowly tortured and burned to death by a black woman with a welding torch.

      Nancy Grace of CNN started to carry the story. She cried with anger and outrage as every new horrible detail unfolded. But, as soon as the evidence hinted that it was a black person suspected of the gruesome crime, Nancy Grace immediately dropped the story like a bag of wet cement, as if it never happened.

      Police Believe Child Was Killed With Welding Torch

      HOUSTON –Homicide investigators said a welding torch is the likely weapon used in 12-year-old Jonathan Foster’s death, Local 2 Investigates reported Friday.

      “We’re talking crematorium-type of hot,” said one Houston Police Department Homicide Squad officer assigned to the investigation.

      Police said they confiscated a badly burned section of carpet from the home of Mona Yvette Nelson, 44, who stands charged with capital murder.

      She had a welding background and police found welding equipment in her home on Allwood Street in the Fifth Ward area of Northeast Houston. Police said a section of carpet was badly burned and the smell of a human body filled the area around that carpet.

      DNA tests are being ordered to analyze any bodily fluids.

      One investigator assigned to the case said it now appears Foster was killed at that spot in Nelson’s home within hours of being kidnapped from his family’s home near Shepherd Drive and 43rd Street in Northwest Houston.

      Police say she was acquainted with some members of the boy’s family.

      One officer said on Friday that the autopsy has ruled out any trauma on the child’s body. There were no broken bones or any signs of strangulation or head wounds, so officers said it now appears the child was killed with a welding torch that could be capable of 6,000-degree flames.

      “I’ve never seen burns like this,” said one officer who viewed the boy’s body after it was found in a ditch off the Hardy Toll Road on Tuesday.

      He said that killers often try to cover their tracks by burning the victim’s corpse, but in this boy’s case, the burning was so intense and thorough that many veteran homicide investigators are struggling with the notion of such a grisly and painful way to die.

    • ATBOTL

      It’s only in the last few years that conservative sites have gotten any better. Anyone who read Free Republic 10 or 12 years ago remembers that stories like this would sometimes be posted and people would go out of their way not to notice race, even when it was a clear cut racially motivated attack. Things have sure changed.

  • A Multiracial Individual

    One day, the scientific evidence for the biological causes of personality will be undeniable. You are what your brain is doing. Some people (through no fault of their own) were simply born with a structurally deficient brain. This is why stupid emotional desires for “retribution” should have no place in our criminal justice system. Person X is a dangerous murderer/rapist and must be put to death, or locked up forever because they are a persistent threat to human life. It’s that simple. Words like: scumbag, monster, demon, P.O.S, etc. make no sense. Would you hurl such insults at a mountain lion for attacking you? No, you would assess the threat and respond accordingly.

    • bluffcreek1967

      I would not consider retribution as a “stupid emotional desire.” Most, if not all, low IQ people are conscious of what is right and wrong and their criminal acts, in spite of their low intelligence, stems from the evil and selfishness of their hearts/minds. What they act out is a reflection of who they are inside. They are morally aware and conscious that what they are doing is wrong – and, therefore, they can be held accountable for their willful choices.

      For someone to desire revenge or retribution because of an injustice committed against them or another is not “stupid,” but is rather the innate human longing for justice. Humans have within their moral framework a recognition and need for justice or retribution. It’s normal and there’s nothing wrong with it either.

      Some people’s crimes are so heinous that they rightfully deserve the terms “monster” or “scumbag” applied to them. Moreover, there’s no moral issue involved when a mountain lion attacks a person who’s in their territory or for food. But when another human being viciously attacks another for their money or property or just out of racial spite, there’s a moral dimension that kicks in. There’s a big difference between the animal world and the human world.

      • A Multitacial Individual

        You are giving people (like this guy) far too much credit. Most people believe that criminality is the result of poor socialization. While socialization plays some role (neurogenesis), it is certainly a subordinate role. One day a cognitive scientist will be able to make reliable predictions about a person’s personality by looking at detailed scans of their brain. You may be right that all people have an understanding of what is right and wrong. Of course some people (psycopaths) are simply not capable of feeling empathy for others, that doesn’t make them criminals, but it removes a deterrent like guilt that may restrain others.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    This is a sign of a very sick society, unsurprisingly led by California.

    The Dec 27th incident was at least the third in Los Angeles County since October where people were set on fire.

    Murders and rapes have become so common that they barely register on the outrage scale and get little notice by the media. It seems many criminals, high on drugs, mentally ill or into the occult have had to “up” their twisted acts in order to get noticed.

    Also out of California:

    * A chef that was on trial for killing his wife in California reportedly confessed that he “slow cooked her body then dumped it out as kitchen waste.”

    We could learn from The Netherlands which knows how to handle public nuisances.

    Nuisance neighbours in Amsterdam will be exiled from the city and rehoused in ‘scum villages’ made up of caravans or containers under constant police supervision.

    The idea, from Geert Wilder:

    Repeat offenders should be forcibly removed from their neighbourhood and sent to a village for scum,’ he suggested last year. ‘Put all the trash together.’

    Wise man, Mr. Wilders.


    • Michael_C_Scott

      Where do you get all the wonderful pictures you keep posting here?

      As an aside, I like your avatar: Stanley Mouse’s “Sun Lion”. We have a framed copy in the dining room.

  • shattered

    This story reminds me of the black homeless man that was beaten into a coma by white teens with baseball bats in Florida a few years ago. Because the homeless are so vulnerable, they often are targeted by miscreants of all races.

    • kjh64

      Blacks do this thing far more often however on the occasion that Whites do this, they too should be treated every bit as harshly. The White teens should be given the same beating IMO. I have no sympathy for any miscreant White or not.

    • Oh, I thought you were our resident Korsakoff’s Syndrome suffering troll. I thought you were about to say that this exact same thing happened to you only in racial reverse when you were a teenager.

      • shattered

        Belay the ad hominem. I gave much better than I got as a young man. Get back on topic.

        • Don’t worry, you’re not the troll in question anyway. This one will say that he’s a 50-something or 60-something professional (usually in academia or education), is black, and that while the AR story presented was “horrible” or “tragic,” that the “exact thing thing happened to me” in racial reverse when he was ca. 15 years old, give or take a few years. When “I complained to white authorities” who might as well have been Kluxers, they just ignored me. But “good soldier that I was,” I shrugged it off and got my Ph.D. in blubberologoy.

          • Michael_C_Scott

            I don’t think we see as many of those here as we did six or seven years ago.

    • Michael_C_Scott

      There was a white middle-class man arrested in Boulder in December for assaulting the homeless. I wish the cops had beaten the living daylights out of him. Sure; the homeless are sometimes annoying, but they do not deserve gratuitous mistreatment.

      • shattered

        I agree with you Michael. I’ve never had a homeless person try to assault me for any reason. They pretty much keep to themselves in their own little “communities” except when they go out to beg. If only the miscreant street-gang members were as innocuous as the homeless are.

        • Michael_C_Scott

          Most of the long-term homeless seem to be that way because they’re mentally ill. These days, it is considered a violation of their rights to institutionalize them, even though someone who sleeps outdoors in freezing weather because they’re too drunk and/or stoned to go to a shelter is clearly a danger to themselves.

          My only serious gripe about the mentally-ill homeless is the spread of drug-resistant tuberculosis. They catch it, get medication, and then instead of completing the treatment as directed, they quit the antibiotics once they start feeling better. After the inevitable relapse, they restart the medication, and so-on. One could not design a better way to produce resistant strains even if one wanted to. Unfortunately, while tuberculosis prematurely kills more people each year worldwide than nearly anything else, multidrug resistant TB isn’t a “sexy”, trendy public health issue the way “assault weapons” have been made out to be by the bed-wetting classes and their paid propagandists in the mainstream media.

  • falsedawn

    The point with blacks is they win no matter what. They have no business in the society and therefore they do these things with impunity. There is no punishment that will have any effect on him/them. If you execute him, that’s fine, if you put him in jail for years, that’s fine, etc. They’re beyond any laws, other than the law of the jungle. There is only one answer for blacks, Humane repatriation (of course, they will not go willingly) to mother africa. Nothing short of that will work.

  • PesachPatriot

    I am one of those old fashioned types who feels bad for the homeless(especially in cold weather places). I give them change sometimes. What sort of person sets them on fire? Don’t they have enough problems in life without this kind of thing too…I know lots have mental health issues and are alcoholics, have hardcore pill, heroin and meth habits, but some are regular nice former pay check to pay check people with kids who have been ground under foot by Great Depression 2.0 and even the nastiest junkie with a needle in his arm doesn’t deserve to be burned alive.

    Where I live in florida there are many wealthy people who drive benzes, jaguars, hummers, porsches, etc…I have seen these same people be intentionally cruel and rude to wait staff, car park valets, restroom attendants and bar tenders and even the homeless people at intersections, just for a some douche bag guy to show his “alpha” status to some gold digger or for some gold digger to show some guy going through a mid life crisis that she is a “diva”. These people will (verbally) fight over a parking spot at the very expensive malls and threaten lawsuits at any serf who so much as looks at them funny. These assaults on the homeless are just symptomatic of the moral rot that shoots up elementary schools, flash mobs stores and creates endless legal ponzi schemes.

    This also has a lot to do with disrespect for the elderly. Any 24 year old male who would savagely incinerate a woman more than 40 years his senior needs to go directly to the chair or a life sentence in state or federal prison. I live around a lot of elderly people and while it can be annoying to be stuck behind them in traffic or the grocery store, I always do my best to be pleasant and polite to the greatest generation who won WWII and built the interstate highway system. Some seem amazed that younger people will still hold the elevator door for them or stop to let them walk slowly through an intersection. I’m glad that the victim will probably survive.

  • falsedawn

    Just a thought. As these outrages pile up, I’m really starting to wonder about whether or not blacks are human. No other groups are known to do the things blacks do. It seems to me they have an ability to immitate human behavior, but that’s all it is, immitation. Left to their own devices, they quickly fall into an animalistic habits. There are plenty of videos on Youtube to bear this out.

    • Reality check: We have 23 chromosome pairs, they have 23 chromosome pairs. As much as the thought of the concept disgusts us, sometimes one of ours mates with one of theirs and it results in a brand new human being.

      • falsedawn

        I wonder about that…

      • IstvanIN

        We are not the same species just because we can produce sexually viable offspring.

        • A Multiracial Individual

          Producing viable offspring is one of the hallmark definitions of species.

  • Luis

    What is it with Bantus and Italian last names? First there was Roy Campanella. then Mario Baltelli (sp.), the soccer player. Now, a Bantu named Petillo?

    As with guns, we see what happens when Bantus play with fire.

    Rubbing-alcohol control now!

  • Joseph

    I had a friend who was a CSI out in Virginia a couple of years ago. She told me she worked a case where a guy set his house on fire and immolated his entire family. She asked me “What color do you think he was”? I shrugged; she said “He was a black man.” I didn’t bother to ask at the time if that was typical or not.

    • Michael_C_Scott

      Were they also black before the fire, or only afterward? 😎

  • Michael_C_Scott

    The mindset of someone who would do something like this must be truly bizarre:

    “Let’s see. Here I am, living in the wealthiest nation in history in a part of the country with amazingly nice weather. I could buy a 40 and head out to the beach where I could do some fishing while I drink the beer. No… I have a better idea. I’ll buy some solvent and set a complete stranger on fire and then maybe spend the rest of my life in prison.”

  • Some Guy

    Man sets girlfriend on fire. This nothing new for them.