How did Joseph Kromelis die? Joseph Kromelis cause of death

Elyssa Kaufman of CBS Chicago writes that Joseph Kromelis, well known as Chicago’s “Walking Man,” passed away months after being set on fire while dozing off on the sidewalk.

Kromelis was dozing off when a guy doused him in gasoline and lit him ablaze.

The 75-year-old was not anticipated to live. But in September, Kromelis was discharged from the hospital and moved to a rehabilitation facility.

Kromelis was lovingly referred to as “The Walking Man” by Chicagoans who frequently spotted him wandering the city’s streets for decades. He was recognised for his distinctive long hair and moustache and was typically seen with a sport coat.

How did Joseph Kromelis die? 

Joseph Kromelis, 75, passed away on December 11, 2022, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. After being set on fire while dozing off on Lower Wabash Avenue several months prior, the Chicago “Walking Man” passed away on Sunday.

Joseph Kromelis, 75, passed away on Sunday afternoon. The homeless man Kromelis, who was well-known to frequent the Loop’s streets, was camped out in the 400 block of North Lower Wabash Avenue on the evening of May 25.

In a May court hearing, the prosecution claimed that security footage showed 27-year-old Joseph Guardia approaching the man and silently hanging over him for 16 seconds.

Joseph Kromelis cause of death:

According to the video, Guardia is seen walking to a nearby intersection, then coming back and lighting Kromelis’ exposed head on fire with gasoline. Injuries incurred in the fire event were the cause of death for Joseph Kromelis.

Initially, medics thought the 75-year-old would not survive after being set on fire for almost three minutes. His upper torso was entirely engulfed in flames, and nearly 65% of his body was burned to the third degree.

Kromelis underwent further treatments before being released from Stroger Hospital four months later. He then continued to recover at a rehabilitation centre.

Joseph Kromelis
Image Source: Yahoo Sports

On Sunday afternoon, nearly seven months after being set on fire while sleeping close to Trump Tower, Joseph Kromelis, popularly known as Chicago’s “Walking Man,” passed away.

At 4:08 p.m., Kromelis passed away at a care facility in the 2400 block of West Touhy, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. A postmortem will be done on Monday. While dozing off on the sidewalk, Joseph Kromelis, dubbed the “Walking Man” of downtown Chicago, started a fire.

Why did the suspect fired Kromelis?

Guardia’s only defence was that he was “angry and indicated he wanted to burn trash but did not understand there was a person there” and that he was “crazy.”

Before being put out by security guards, Kromelis was on fire for over three minutes. During a hearing for Joseph Guardia, 27, who authorities believe to be the attacker, Assistant State’s Attorney Danny Hanichak made the statement.

Hanichak, a prosecutor for 16 years, admitted to Judge Charles Beach that he had never seen video footage as horrifying as the attack on Kromelis. Hanichak claims that Guardia doused Kromelis with what he believed to be gasoline from the McDonald’s cup before setting his head ablaze.

About three minutes after the fire began, Trump Tower security personnel discovered and extinguished it. They tried to comfort Kromelis while waiting for help to arrive.

Kromelis was severely injured earlier this year on Lower Wacker Drive when someone hit him with a baseball bat and their fists. After he recovered, he started taking his usual strolls through the city streets. More than $30,000 was raised through crowdsourcing to assist with his current medical costs.

Vytas Vaitkus, whose mother was Kromelis’s sister, told Loop North News in 2016 that “he has been strolling and selling on the streets of Chicago for at least the previous 40 years.” The streets were his home before 2016; they were the area he always felt at home.

Kromelis emigrated to Chicago from Lithuania, where he was raised and was brought up above a tavern on Halsted Street, claims his sister-in-law. When his parents decided to move to Michigan and sell the bar, Joseph was 19. According to Steven Dahlman, Joseph remained in Chicago and hawked jewellery and other goods on the sidewalks in the Loop.

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