Homeless Man Set on Fire

During the night hours of Sunday, Dec. 27, George Smock, a man who is homeless, was set on fire in downtown Cincinnati.

Smock said that at the corner of Main and Court streets, near the Hamilton County Courthouse, four African-American teenagers doused him with charcoal lighter fluid and threw a match on him. His coat lit on fire. Smock was able to put out the fire and fend off the attackers, thus saving his own life.

Smock wants to make sure his story is told. He wants to prevent other people who are homeless from being the victims of hate crime. He fears that other people might not be able to fight off these or other attackers. Smock fears that these hate crimes will lead to the death of his friends and other people who are homeless. He says there are people targeting people who are homeless in an attempt to hurt or kill.
The four people who attacked Smock had nothing personal against him; they did not even know him, according to Josh Spring, executive director of the Homeless Coalition.

“They attacked Mr. Smock simply because he is homeless,” Spring says. “They believed that, because Mr. Smock is homeless, he is not human and therefore they could viciously attack him and possibly murder him.

“The Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless condemns this hate crime and all hate crimes. GCCH encourages all people who are homeless to be especially cautious, especially at night, and to keep watch for one another.”
The four assailants have not been identified or caught.

“The truth is that people who commit crimes like this and are not caught will likely do it again,” Spring says. “GCCH calls for the Cincinnati Police Department to do all that is possible to apprehend these attackers.”