Heartbreaking video shows homeless man being burned to death in a stairwell.
A homeless man who had been set on fire while sleeping inside a Manhattan staircase died of his injuries, police said.
Video obtained by The Post of the heartbreaking Nov. 5 attack shows fire slowly engulfing the body of the unidentified victim after his attacker carried a hand-held lighter to the man’s left leg at Samuel Gompers Houses on Pitt Street.
The attacker flees and a second man approaches the victim as the flames increase and fumes engulf the staircase, according to the images. The victim’s body becomes completely inflamed within moments.
Nathaniel Terry, 27, who lives in the building, was arrested on the day of the attack and charged with attempted murder, assault, and arson, New York police said. The incident has now been labeled a homicide, police said.
Police declared the victim dead on Thursday. His identity remains unknown.
The 911 caller had originally said the victim had a crack pipe on his lap and that the pipe had ignited clothing, law enforcement sources said.
The caller also said that he had poured water on the man while he was burning.
No one opened the door to Terry’s apartment on Saturday. A neighbor said Terry lived there with at least three other people, including an older woman believed to be his mother.
Neighbor John, 36, said he had a hard time believing Terry did something like the crime he’s accused of.
“I can’t imagine him doing that,” he said. “Not with that guy. I have seen a lot of people coming and going from the apartment. Mom is disabled. They really are aware of that.
“He has a girlfriend. They have dogs. He plays with my dogs at the dog park. I would never suspect he would do this. I don’t think he’s that kind of person.”
Terry always seemed “an honest guy,” John said.
The building can be bumpy, with homeless people sleeping in hallways and doing drugs outside, he said.
A police source blamed Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration for creating an unsafe environment in the building.
“A complete and utter failure to protect the homeless, the mentally ill, anyone suffering from addiction,” said the source. “Instead of providing safe, decent and affordable housing for low-income people, you have the homeless, the drug addicts camping on the stairs. [Gompers] houses in an open-air drug market and a makeshift shelter. ”