California

San Diego police link 4th attack on homeless to same suspect

  • San Diego's Metro Arson Strike Team and SDPD homicide team gather evidence from the sidewalk and grassy area where a homeless person was attacked in downtown San Diego early Wednesday morning, July 6, 2016. It is the fourth attack on homeless men in San Diego in four days, two of which resulted in death.  (John Gibbins/San Diego Union-Tribune via AP)

    San Diego's Metro Arson Strike Team and SDPD homicide team gather evidence from the sidewalk and grassy area where a homeless person was attacked in downtown San Diego early Wednesday morning, July 6, 2016. It is the fourth attack on homeless men in San Diego in four days, two of which resulted in death. (John Gibbins/San Diego Union-Tribune via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • San Diego Homeless Outreach Team officer Brian Lucchesi canvasses several areas in the Midway and Sports Arena Blvd. area Wednesday, July 6, 2016, stopping to talk with people like Ronald Mays who rolled over to look at the flyer with pictures of a suspect in recent assaults on the homeless. On Wednesday, the San Diego Police Department's Homeless Outreach Team branched out to advise the area's homeless population about the increasing number of  assaults on homeless individuals. So far two people have been murdered and two others badly beaten.  (Peggy Peattie/San Diego Union-Tribune via AP)

    San Diego Homeless Outreach Team officer Brian Lucchesi canvasses several areas in the Midway and Sports Arena Blvd. area Wednesday, July 6, 2016, stopping to talk with people like Ronald Mays who rolled over to look at the flyer with pictures of a suspect in recent assaults on the homeless. On Wednesday, the San Diego Police Department's Homeless Outreach Team branched out to advise the area's homeless population about the increasing number of assaults on homeless individuals. So far two people have been murdered and two others badly beaten. (Peggy Peattie/San Diego Union-Tribune via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • San Diego Homeless Outreach Team officer Brian Lucchesi canvasses several areas in the Midway and Sports Arena Blvd. area Wednesday, July 6, 2016, stopping to talk with people like Robert and Krista, two homeless people who stay in the area. The couple hadn't heard about the recent assaults on the homeless. On Wednesday, the San Diego Police Department's Homeless Outreach Team branched out to advise the area's homeless population about the increasing number of  assaults on homeless individuals. So far two people have been murdered and two others badly beaten.  (Peggy Peattie/San Diego Union-Tribune via AP)

    San Diego Homeless Outreach Team officer Brian Lucchesi canvasses several areas in the Midway and Sports Arena Blvd. area Wednesday, July 6, 2016, stopping to talk with people like Robert and Krista, two homeless people who stay in the area. The couple hadn't heard about the recent assaults on the homeless. On Wednesday, the San Diego Police Department's Homeless Outreach Team branched out to advise the area's homeless population about the increasing number of assaults on homeless individuals. So far two people have been murdered and two others badly beaten. (Peggy Peattie/San Diego Union-Tribune via AP)  (The Associated Press)

San Diego police say a homeless man is severely injured after a suspect in a spate of assaults on transients attacked him while he was asleep and tried to set him on fire.

The latest attack occurred early Wednesday in downtown San Diego and police say it's unclear if the man will survive injuries to his upper torso. Capt. David Nisleit says the suspect tried to set the man on fire with a towel or piece of clothing before fleeing but a witness pulled the burning cloth away.

Nisleit says four attacks on homeless men in the last four days are linked — two of which resulted in death. On Tuesday, police released convenience store surveillance video of someone wanted for questioning.