Man Arrested in Attacks|on San Diego’s Homeless

     SAN DIEGO (CN) — Following a week of chaos and worry for San Diego’s homeless community and advocates, the San Diego Police Department have the man in custody they say is responsible for attacks on four homeless people.
     Capt. David Nisleit told reporters late Thursday that officers had arrested Anthony Padgett, 36, at around 10 a.m. that morning in the city of Chula Vista, about 10 miles south of downtown.
     He was booked without bail into the San Diego Central Jail in downtown San Diego and faces multiple charges of murder, attempted murder and arson, according to jail records.
     Padgett is suspected of a four-day crime spree starting July 3, when the body of 53-year-old Angelo De Nardo was found on fire near the train tracks in the Clairemont neighborhood. An autopsy determined De Nardo had been killed before being set on fire, according to the Medical Examiner’s Office.
     On Monday, two other victims were found in beach communities along the San Diego coast. Manuel Mason, 61, was found bleeding near the Valley View Casino Center in Point Loma just before 5 a.m. Less than an hour later, Shawn Longley, 41, was found dead at the Robb Athletic Field in Ocean Beach, about three miles away from where Mason was attacked.
     A fourth victim was found on fire Wednesday morning near an apartment complex across from the federal courthouse downtown. His name has not yet been released and he remains in grave condition, Nisleit said.
     Police said Mason is still in critical condition.
     This isn’t the first time Padgett’s been accused of setting homeless men on fire. In 2010, he was arrested on suspicion of setting a fellow transient on fire while the man slept, according to local station 10News. He was sentenced to four years in state prison in November 2010, according to The Star News.
     Padgett is scheduled to be arraigned Monday afternoon.

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