ASTORIA, Queens (WABC) --The homeless man set on fire inside a Queens liquor store moments after the owner was fatally stabbed in the neck spoke out exclusively to Eyewitness News following his release from the hospital.
Julio Bolanos was inside Astoria Liquors and Wines on Astoria Boulevard in Astoria when 55-year-old George Patouhas was attacked, and he showed off the blisters and burns on his neck, hands, and legs he suffered when police say 23-year-old James Patrick Dillon threw some sort of accelerant at him.
Bolanos said Dillon came to the store around noon and got into some sort of argument with Patouhas outside, though he is not sure about what. He said Patouhas came back inside, and while his back was turned, Dillon pulled out a knife and stabbed him without warning. He was then forced to watch his best friend fall to the ground with injuries that would prove fatal.
"The guy came and (makes stabbing motion, points to his neck)," he said. "It wasn't a big knife...then he picked up a container, I guess it was flammable liquid. And that's why I got burned. He threw it inside. I think he wanted to burn the place down."
Bolanos had a message for Dillon in the wake of the murderous rampage.
"Rot in hell," he said.
The investigation is continuing after the deadly crime spree, and Dillon remains in critical condition after police confronted and shot him.
Patouhas' wife was too distraught to speak, but another of his best friends had nothing be good things to say about a man who loved his family.
"His daughter was his jewel, his wife was his jewel," Herbert Rodriguez said. "His wife was there, always. He used to bring his daughter here and see her to do her homework and little things, her painting. He loved his daughter, his wife. To come to this situation, to this conclusion, is unfair."
The woman slashed in the initial attack also spoke out, saying the only thing that stopped Dillon was when he saw blood on her hand from touching the back of her head.
Berta Carpio, her wounds still fresh, says he saw the blood on her hand and ran away. A slash on her face and several stab wounds in her head an inch and a half deep serve as a reminder to the terrifying ordeal.
Two police officers were injured in the attack after authorities say Dillon burned them with the same accelerant. They were treated and released.