Police charge suspect in landlord's attack

August 23, 2008 8:29:03 AM PDT
Police have charged a man in connection with an attack on a South Side landlord. Twenty-eight-year-old Donald Hardy is charged with attempted first-degree murder in connection with the attack. He's due in court Saturday.

About 100 people attended a vigil for the victim Friday night. Harlan Hayes, 77, is in critical condition after he was doused with gasoline and set on fire on Tuesday.

Hayes' family has not left his bedside at the University of Chicago Hospital. They say their father is completely sedated with 90 percent of his body burned and he has undergone four surgeries to remove the burned skin. It is a slow process because of Hayes' age and family members say 30 more surgeries will be needed.

Hayes is a former Marine who served in the Korean War.

"I couldn't believe it, he's burned from his head, no skin on his eyes...I touch him and talk to him and let him know I am here and I love him," said Lisa Stovall, Hayes' daughter.

"He made it through the Korean War...and to survive a rough neighborhood for so many years. I mean, he's well-liked," said Harlan Hayes, Jr.

On Tuesday morning around 2 a.m., Hayes was doused with an accelerant and lit on fire. The family says the crime was committed by a former tenant who ran away.

"This is a horrific crime. My dad is a seventy-seven-year-old person. He's not a young guy," said Stovall.

"I am glad they apprehended the suspect," said Hayes, Jr.

The family says their father is not out of the woods. Hayes is a fighter but family members are asking everyone to pray for their dad.


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