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    Man Who Set Himself On Fire In City Hall Lobby May Face Arson-Related Charges, LBPD Anticipates Presenting Case To D.A.

    (April 20, 2007) -- has learned that the man who set himself on fire in City Hall's lobby on April 19 may face criminal charges.

    LBPD Public Information Officer Nancy Pratt tells that LBPD anticipates presenting a case on Monday [April 23] to the L.A. County District Attorney's office regarding attempted arson and arson with great bodily injury.

    The D.A.'s office will make the actual decision on whether criminal charges are filed.

    LB Security Officer Steven Covarubias [an LBPD employee] sustained burns in the course of extinguishing the flames, PIO Pratt noted.

    As previously reported by, LBPD says that on April 19 at about 3:35 p.m., Haouy Nguyen [various spellings reported elsewhere], 50, of Fountain Valley, entered the City Hall lobby and set himself on fire.

    PIO Pratt says the man allegedly walked up to the lobby information desk and said something to the effect of wanting to die before setting himself on fire using a lighter. Prior to doing so, he allegedly doused himself with some type of flammable liquid, Pratt said. He was taken to a hospital with serious burns.

    LB photojournalist Diana Lejins captured the aftermath as investigators examined the affected lobby area (below). Ms. Lejins reported that the #3 marker is believed to be where the man set himself afire; the #5 marker may be where he collapsed; some clothing appears to be on the floor. Investigators took photos and collected material.

    Investigators re City Hall man who set himself on fire April 19/07
    Photo credit: Diana Lejins
    Photo copyright © 2007, LLC. All rights reserved; copyright will be enforced; download, reproduction or commercial use prohibited without our express written consent; email permission requests to]

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