November 29, 2023


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Chicago’s “Walking Man” set on fire in River North; image of suspect released

CHICAGO (CBS)– A homeless person recognized to Chicagoans as “The Going for walks Male” was established on hearth early Wednesday morning in an assault on Lower Wabash Avenue in the River North community.

Police reported, about 3 a.m., a 75-calendar year-previous guy was laying on the floor in the 400 block of North Wabash Avenue, when another guy approached him, poured a flammable liquid on him, established him on fireplace, and ran off. 

Police sources confirmed to CBS 2’s Brad Edwards that the target is Joseph Kromelis, who experienced burns more than 40% of his human body. 

Recognised for his signature long hair, and mustache, and generally seen donning a activity coat, Kromelis is affectionately referred to as “The Walking Man” by Chicagoans who have witnessed him often roaming the city’s streets for a long time.

Police stated a security officer at a developing nearby jumped into action and utilised a fire extinguisher to get the fire out. Kromelis was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in crucial situation.

The assault still left a burn up mark on the garage door the place Kromelis was sleeping at the time of the assault.

A surveillance digicam is pointed instantly at that location, and CBS 2 has questioned bordering structures, which includes nearby Trump Tower, for footage of the assault.

Chicago Police have considering the fact that released a picture of the suspect who they explained fled on to the CTA Blue Line subway right after the incident. 

The Offender is described as a tall male with a medium-gentle complexion, putting on a black and white “Hoodrich” jacket and grey sandals. 


Chicago Law enforcement Section

Everyone with information on the offender’s whereabouts can get hold of Area 3 detectives at 312-746-8261. Anonymous strategies can be submitted to 

The assault arrived 6 a long time right after Kromelis was crushed on the streets he has walked for a lot of several years. On May well 24, 2016, Kromelis was attacked even though walking on Decreased Wacker Travel. He informed law enforcement he stated hi there to someone he passed on the avenue, and that man began punching him and hitting him with a baseball bat. His nephew claimed at the time that his uncle’s “eyes had been nearly gouged out.”

“I know he doesn’t have any funds. He is essentially been a avenue peddler his overall daily life, for as extensive as I’ve recognized him. That’s all he is ever finished,” Kromelis’ nephew, Vytas Vaitkus, claimed at the time. “He in no way definitely had a official occupation or everything. He would not genuinely have anything. My problem is he is heading to be discharged from the clinic and, at greatest, he’s likely to have trouble seeing, if he regains his sight at all.  And I just imagine the income would be a wonderful gain to him.”

After the attack, Kromelis refused to push felony expenses from his attacker, who was billed with misdemeanor reckless conduct. 

Kromelis stated though he hoped his eyes would get improved soon after that attack, and that he could see despite his accidents, he understood his vision would hardly ever be the identical.

Joseph Kromelis in happier instances. (courtesy: Vytas Vaitkus)