Disturbing surveillance footage from California’s Bay Area shows a serial shoplifter setting a clerk on fire with stolen lighter fluid after he tried to stop a shoplifter from stealing.
Suraj, a store clerk, declined to give his last name for fear of being targeted again. Kendall Burton can be seen in the video at the Appian Food and Liquor store in El Sobrante on September 22 in Sula There was an argument with Gee before lighter fluid was poured on his head. according to a video obtained by CBS News.
In the video, another worker can be seen charging at Suraj with a baseball bat, and seconds later Burton ignited the liquid in a heated exchange, with the flames immediately engulfing the clerk’s head.
“I tried to cover his hand, but I don’t know. I don’t remember. You know, he just lit a fire in me,” Suraj told the outlet.
“I just rushed to the bathroom and water splashed on my face.”
Suraj, who has worked at the store for the past five years, said he and other workers at the Bay Area store often deal with shoplifters, but nothing this serious has ever happened.
Colleagues warned the store clerk at the beginning of their shift that Burton had come into the store multiple times that day to steal lighter fluid.
“He just threw lighter fluid in my face and I was very scared at that moment,” Suraj told the outlet.
Suraj suffered second- and third-degree burns on his face, neck, chest and shoulders.
The clerk has been hospitalized at St. Francis Memorial Hospital in San Francisco since the horrific attack and said the incident has affected not only him but his family as well.
“It’s terrible,” Suraj told the media from his hospital bed.
“You know, I, my family are still in trauma right now,” Suraj told the media from his hospital bed.
He will need multiple surgeries due to the burns.
“When we were cleaning the wounds, there were already more than 10 wounds,” the clerk said of the pain he experienced after the attack.
The Appian Food and Liquor store is located approximately 20 miles southwest of downtown San Francisco.
Suja told the media: “First of all, I want to say that no one should have to go through this situation, small shops should have more security measures or similar measures.”
“Workplaces should be safer.”
Suraj’s wife, Sabeena, started a GoFundMe page to help raise funds for her husband’s recovery journey and for his physical and mental care.
“The burn wounds take time to heal and recover, and we are overwhelmed by the emotional trauma and stress of the medical procedures,” Sabina wrote on the fundraising website.
The Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office told media outlets that Burton, 38, was arrested for having a complete disregard for human life.
Burton, who authorities said was homeless from the El Sobrante area, faces charges including assault with a deadly weapon, battery, arson and robbery.
He is being held without bail.