[UPDATED with Lawsuit:] Hector Manuel Medina, Mechanic, Sets Transient Ruben Sandoval on Fire

Categories: Crime-iny
UPDATE, AUG. 10, 8:38 A.M.: Over the objections of prosecutors, who wanted Hector Manuel Medina sentenced to 11 years in prison, the mechanic got five years for setting a 64-year-old transient on fire last year.

But victim Ruben Sandoval, a military victim who suffered third-degree burns to his face and arms and had all the possessions in his shopping cart incinerated, seeks to right what he sees as another injustice by going after Medina's employer.

Hector Manuel Medina
Because Bridgestone Americas' Firestone Complete Auto Care had a policy forbidding transients from loitering near the building at 101 S. Main St., Santa Ana, 32-year-old Medina felt empowered to douse Sandoval's cart with gasoline and set it ablaze, according to the victim's personal injury lawsuit filed in Orange County Superior Court.

Sandoval, who had sometimes lived with his sister in Garden Grove but would often drift back out to the streets, spent six months undergoing treatment at Grossman Burn Center in Sherman Oaks after the tragedy, according to his lawyer, who adds his client underwent multiple skin grafts.

Firestone and Medina are named in the suit that alleges negligence and seeks $1.5 million to cover medical and other costs as well as an unspecified amount for punitive damages.

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