San Diego Homeless Attacks: Man Padgett set on fire shares his s - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

San Diego Homeless Attacks: Man Padgett set on fire shares his story

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - San Diego Police continued their search Tuesday for the person responsible in a series of deadly attacks on homeless people after they released the man they arrested last week.

Investigators said Anthony Padgett had been a suspect in part because of his 2010 conviction for setting a homeless man on fire. In the 2010, Chula Vista case Padgett was found guilty of setting his friend and another homeless man on fire.

The man survived the attack.

On Tuesday, Sydney Moreno told CBS News 8 that in 2010 he had been in the parking lot of a Food-4-Less when Pidgett poured fluid on him and lit him on fire.

RELATED: San Diego Homeless Attacks: Third victim dies

"We were both sitting enjoying some beers and then he breaks out this bottle of vodka. And, I drank some and I passed out. And, I know that he must have used it as an accelerator," said Moreno.

Moreno suffered second and third degree burns over 20 to 25-percent of his body. Witnesses told police Padgett stood over Moreno and watched him burn.

"I spent six months at UCSD. I had burns on my arm, slashes down my leg, and sustained burns on my back. And my thumb, it looks like it's phony now," said Moreno.

RELATED: San Diego Homeless Attacks: Victims identified

A jury found Padgett guilty and was sentenced to four years behind bars. As for a motive, Moreno to this day is not sure.

In a letter to the judge, Padgett wrote he had been stone intoxicated and had been using prescription drugs during the 2010 incident. He further wrote he had set the fire to wake Moreno up, not hurt him.

RELATED: San Diego Homeless Attacks: Police say they may have the wrong guy

Last week Padgett declared his innocence. He was arrested for the brutal attacks on four homeless men. The most recent victim was 23-year-old Dionicio Derek Vahidy who was set on fire.

Vahidy died from his injuries on Sunday.

The case took a sharp turn when on Monday police announced they did not have enough evidence against Padgett to bring charges. He was released.

Moreno had a message for Padgett, "He's got to get some help. He better pray to God or something. Change his ways because I don't think God's gonna let him get away with that."

RELATED: Friends of victims speak about homeless attacks

For San Diego police the current case remains a top priority. They are asking for anyone with information to come forward.

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