SANTA PAULA (   —   A transient is behind bars in Santa Paula after he was arrested on an attempted murder charge for allegedly dousing a victim with a caustic chemical and lighting him ablaze in Santa Paula yesterday.

Police said on Saturday, just before 7  p.m., a witness reported to police that an attack was taking place in the 100 block of W. Main.

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The suspect — who fled on bike before police arrived — was later identified as Jorge Chavez, 35, of Santa Paula. Chavez was taken into custody without incident Sunday morning.

He was transported to the Santa Paula Police Department for processing and booked. He was later taken to Ventura County Main Jail where he is being held on $1,000,000 bail

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Chavez is being charged with attempted murder, mayhem, assault with a caustic chemical, and committing a crime causing great bodily injury.

The victim — who was first allegedly battered by the suspect — remains in critical condition with burns over 50 percent of his body, authorities said.

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Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Randy Haumann at (805) 525-4474 x 211 or You can remain anonymous.