A California store clerk tried to stop an alleged shoplifter, but ended up in the emergency room with burns covering his body after he was set ablaze by the suspected thief.
The clerk, Suraj, was working with his coworker in Appian Food and Liquor in El Sobrante September 22, when Kendall Burton came in and allegedly stole lighter fluid for the third time that day.
The coworker saw the theft and notified Suraj, who went to confront Burton and all hell broke loose.
Newly released surveillance video shows Suraj violently struggling with Burton, while his coworker retrieves a baseball bat from somewhere inside the store.
During the tussle, Burton pours the accelerant over Suraj’s head and lights him on fire.
Before the video cuts off, Suraj is seen frantically running to the bathroom to extinguish the flames by dousing himself with water.
Suraj was rushed to a local hospital and treated for serious burns over his face, neck, chest and shoulder.
From his hospital bed, Suraj told CBS Bay Area that no one should be subject to such dangers and called for more security in the workplace. He also said he has a long road to recovery and needs several surgeries to repair the extensive damage.
His wife has set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for his rising medical costs.
As for Burton, he was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon, battery, arson and robbery. He’s currently being held without bail.
WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW: