McALLEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — McAllen police arrested a man they alleged set a sofa on fire and threatened to burn down a house with children inside.
Miguel Cardenas Jr. was arrested on charges of arson causing bodily injury/death, abandon endanger child, terroristic threat and criminal trespass, according to Hidalgo County records.
A police offense report obtained by ValleyCentral details how officers on Oct. 5 responded to the 1000 block of N. of N. 12th Street to help the McAllen Fire Department. An officer arrived to the scene, saw a fire inside of a home and also noted smoke coming from a green sofa that was in the front yard.
According to the report, the officer made contact with a man who was yelling that he was burned. The man was identified by authorities as Cardenas.
Cardenas told officers he didn’t know what caused the fire and said it might have been “someone’s cigarette that fell on the sofa,” the offense report stated. While the officer was speaking to Cardenas, a woman approached them in “an aggressive manner,” and began yelling at Cardenas saying that he started the fire intentionally, the document stated.
The woman was identified by authorities as a relative to Cardenas. She said that a juvenile female relative witnessed the start of the fire.
Officers talked to the child who said she was making quesadillas for her siblings in the kitchen. She told police Cardenas was in the living room talking to himself and that he had said he was going to burn the house down, according to the police report.
The report stated that Cardenas claimed he had burned a house down before and was not afraid to do it again.
The child told police that Cardenas was upset because no one would purchase drugs for him, and that she then saw him ignite a piece of carboard on the back of the sofa using a lit cigarettes, court records show.
She said she grabbed her siblings and went to the bedroom when she heard a crackling noise. She returned to the living room and saw the sofa on fire, police said.
The child then grabbed her siblings, ran outside and called her mother.
Cardenas told police that he tried to put out the fire with his hands, but officers did not observe injuries to his palms, the court documents stated.
Cardenas was arrested on the following charges:
- Arson causing bodily injury/death;
- Criminal trespass;
- Three counts of terroristic threat of family/household;
- Three counts of abandon endanger.
His bond was set at $38,000.