"I just lit a cigarette," claimed Santa Rosa man Alfredo Leija on Sunday night as his ex-girlfriend's car, house and dog succumbed to the inferno.
He failed to mention that he had saturated his ex's vehicle with a bunch of gasoline, Officer Julian Villalobos of the Santa Rosa Police Department tells Hair Balls.
When Janie Adriano got into her car and attempted to drive away, Leija, 44, continued drenching the gray 2012 Nissan Versa with fuel.
"When she tried to get out of the car, the suspect wouldn't let her," explains Villalobos. "I don't why she would try to drive [in that situation]. I guess she was trying to escape."
The 49-year-old woman was eventually able to flee. Leija then lit a coffin nail.
"It was an accident" that the automobile that was parked under a carport (which allowed the flames to spread to the house) caught fire, he told police after he was apprehended while walking down the street. The car, home and the dog are goners, says Officer Villalobos.
The couple had a history of domestic disputes, according to Villalobos. In 2010, Adriano filed assault and criminal mischief complaints against Leija.
For his latest circus act, Leija was nailed on Wednesday with a litany of charges, including two counts of second-degree felony arson, two counts of terroristic threats and cruelty to an animal. He's currently being held at the Cameron County Jail on a $190,000 bond.
In other words, Leija is facing serious time in the slammer. He may have also blown his New Year's resolution to quit smoking.
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