A Florida 19-year-old accused of setting his girlfriend’s home on fire while she and her family were inside told detectives, when confronted, that a “random black guy” committed the crime, according to police.
Authorities say Jose Bernardo Rosas Madrigal doused his girlfriend’s home with lighter fluid just days after he Googled “how to burn a brick house down.” He also threatened to kill the girl over Snapchat before the incident, the Daily Beast reports.
In a disturbing twist, the Polk County, Fla., Sheriff’s Office said that Madrigal even used the lighter fluid to draw a heart on a fence near his girlfriend’s bedroom window. After Madrigal lit the fire in the front yard, he drove by the house to admire his work
like a true alleged arsonist, police say.
Thankfully, the family’s home escaped any real damage, although, according to James Scott, the girlfriend’s father, part of the yard did burn in the incident.
“We were very lucky. We caught it in time before it blew up,” Scott told the Daily Beast.
“I thank God because God was on our side,” he added. “If it would have gone 5 or 10 more minutes, the car would have blew up. My house would have been on fire. He could have killed us.”
Madrigal is facing three counts of attempted first-degree murder and one count of first-degree arson. He is also facing charges of possession of liquor by a person under 21.
Read more at the Daily Beast.