Store clerk recovering after alleged shoplifter sets him on fire in California

Store clerk recovering after alleged shoplifter sets him on fire in California
via KPIX, GoFundMe

Suspect Kendall Lavanon Burton, 38, is a repeat offender with convictions in multiple counties

October 3, 2023
A store clerk in California’s Bay Area is recovering from severe burn injuries after an alleged shoplifter doused him with kerosene and set him on fire nearly two weeks ago.
What happened: The clerk, identified only as Suraj, was alerted by a coworker about the repeat shoplifter at Appian Food and Liquor in El Sobrante on Sept. 22. It was the third time the suspect tried to steal lighter fluid that day, according to reports.
Surveillance video shows Suraj and the suspect getting into a physical confrontation, while his coworker grabs a baseball bat. In seconds, Suraj was up in flames.
“He just splashed lighter fluid on my face, and I was so scared that moment,” Suraj told KPIX 5. “I tried to cover his hand, but I don’t know. I don’t remember. He just lit the fire on me, you know.”
The aftermath: Suraj said he rushed to the restroom to splash water on his face. He was then taken to the hospital with second- and third-degree burns to his face, neck, chest and shoulder.
Kendall Lavanon Burton. Image via California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
Suspect arrested: Authorities arrested Kendall Lavanon Burton, 38, in connection with the incident. He is facing multiple charges, including assault with a deadly weapon, robbery, battery, arson causing bodily injury and mayhem.
Burton is reportedly a repeat offender, with a criminal history dating back to 2004. He has robbery and burglary convictions in Alameda, Contra Costa and Sacramento counties, as per KRON 4.
What’s next: Suraj is on the road to recovery. His wife set up a GoFundMe page to ask for help for his medical bills.
“Wounds by the burn take time to heal and recover,” his wife wrote. “We are overwhelmed by the mental trauma and the pressure of medical procedures.”
Burton, on the other hand, is being held without bail. He will return to court on Oct. 9.
      Carl Samson

      Carl Samson
      is a Senior Editor for NextShark




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