Teen facing charges after sleeping man set on fire in attempted robbery

WASHINGTON — A 14-year-old boy who police say was one of a group of teens who attacked a sleeping man and set his backpack on fire in Annandale, Virginia, is facing robbery and malicious wounding charges.

Fairfax County police arrested the teen Sunday after officers chased him down as he fled the 4500 block of Commons Drive.

Police said they are still seeking three additional teens in the attack. Another teen who had been detained Sunday afternoon was determined not to be involved in the attack, police said.

Police had been called to the area around 2:45 p.m. Sunday for the report of several people assaulting a man and trying to set him on fire.

Police said they believe the teens had planned to steal the man’s backpack. In a news release, police said the man was initially sleeping and awoke to the teens setting his backpack on fire. It’s unclear why the man, who has only been identified as a 47-year-old resident of Fairfax County, was sleeping.

“We believe that they were trying to get his backpack off and they couldn’t get it,” said Lt. Eli Corey, spokesman with Fairfax County Police Department. “And they were using fire to cut the straps or burn the straps.”

The man was treated for injuries to his upper body and has been released from the hospital.

The teen, who is facing juvenile charges, is currently home with his parents and police are seeking a detention order, Corey said.

WTOP’s Michelle Basch contributed to this report. 

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined WTOP.com as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at Nextgov.com, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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