A man accused of setting two fellow transients on fire at a homeless encampment in South Los Angeles and attacking two others with a hammer during a robbery the same day pleaded not guilty Wednesday to attempted murder and other charges.
Phillip Darryl Cole, 54, is charged with two counts each of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon, along with one count each of mayhem, arson causing great bodily injury, arson of an inhabited structure or property, first-degree residential robbery and second-degree robbery.
Cole allegedly approached a homeless encampment in an empty lot at 83rd Street and Vermont Avenue last Thursday and “threw a flammable liquid on two victims and lit them on fire, causing serious injuries,” according to a Los Angeles Police Department statement.
Cole is also suspected of attacking two other people with a hammer while robbing them the same day, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Detectives had asked for the public’s help in finding Cole, who was arrested Saturday afternoon.
He remains jailed in lieu of $2.3 million bail while awaiting a hearing June 7 to determine if there is enough evidence to require him to stand trial.
If convicted, he could face up to life in state prison.
— Wire reports