A 19-year-old Florida resident accused of setting his girlfriend’s home on fire while she and her family were inside told detectives 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, reported The Daily Beast.
The Polk County (Fla.) Sheriff’s Office said that Madrigal also used the lighter fluid to make 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, according to police.
Thankfully, the family’s home escaped any real damage though, 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.