Harrowing video shows homeless man being torched to death in stairwell

A homeless man who had been set on fire while he slept inside a Manhattan stairwell has died of his injuries, police said.

Video obtained by The Post of the harrowing Nov. 5 attack shows the blaze slowly engulf the unidentified victim’s body, after his attacker took a handheld lighter to the man’s right leg at Samuel Gompers Houses on Pitt Street.

A homeless man was set on fire inside of a stairwell in the Samuel Gompers Houses on Pitt Street.
The attack happened on Nov. 5, 2021.

The attacker flees, and a second man walks over and by the victim as the flames build and fumes engulf the stairway, according to the footage. The victim’s body is entirely enflamed within moments.

Nathaniel Terry, 27, who lives in the building, was arrested the day of the attack and charged with attempted murder, assault and arson, NYPD said. The incident has now been ruled a homicide, police said.

Cops pronounced the victim dead Thursday. His identity remains unknown.

The homeless man died from his injuries on Nov. 5, 2021.

The 911 caller had originally said the victim had a crack pipe on his lap and the pipe had ignited the clothes, police sources said.

The caller also said he or she had put water on the man as he burned.

No one answered the door at Terry’s apartment Saturday. A neighbor said Terry lived there with at least three other people including one older woman who is believed to be his mother.

Neighbor John, 36, said he found it hard to believe Terry would do something like the crime he is accused of.

“I can’t imagine him doing that,” he said. “Not with that guy. I’ve seen a lot of people coming and going from the apartment. Mom is disabled. They’re really on top 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.”

The unidentified victim.
Nathanial Terry

Terry always seemed like “an upstanding guy,” John said.

The building can be rough, with homeless people sleeping in hallways and drug use out in the open, he said.

A law enforcement source blamed Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration for creating an unsafe environment at the building.

“A total unmitigated failure to protect the homeless, mentally ill, anyone suffering with addiction,” the source said. “Instead of providing safe, decent affordable low-income housing — you have the homeless, the drug addled camping out in stairwells turning the [Gompers] houses into an open air drug market and makeshift shelter.”

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