Pictured: An Alice man who allegedly set fire to a vehicle Monday night was transported to CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Alice after he complained of chest pains while being detained by Alice police officers. Photo by CHRISTOPHER MAHER

Man set car on fire, will face charges of arson, threats, resisting arrest

Christopher Maher and Ofelia Garcia Hunter, Alice Echo-News Journal

An Alice man allegedly set fire to a vehicle late Monday night during a dispute with family members over whether he could use the vehicle.

According to Alice Police Department reports, officers were called to the 300 block of Nayer Street at 10:30 p.m. Monday in reference to a civil disturbance.

Upon arrival, officers found a man standing next to a 1999 four-door Chrysler vehicle.

The man reportedly was holding a cigarette lighter and told officers that he had covered the car in gasoline and that he would light it if they came any closer. According to department reports, he also told officers he wanted to die "of suicide by cop."

Officers called for assistance from the Alice Fire Department, but the man then allegedly set the car on fire before the fire department could arrive.

Officers were able to extinguish the fire quickly and subdued the man after a brief struggle.

While on the ground, the man reportedly told officers he had recently had heart surgery, and he began complaining of chest pains. Emergency medical services were called to the scene and the man was transported to CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Alice, and later to a Corpus Christi facility.

Alice Police Chief Danny Bueno said Tuesday the department expects to charge the man with arson, terroristic threats and resisting arrest.

His name has been withheld until charges are filed against him.

According to fire officials, the fire department responded to more than 10 calls Monday, including two bee incidents in the Rancho Alegre area where no one was injured, a fire alarm at the Post Office on Second Street about 9 p.m. and another call about possible smoke at 8 p.m. in the Lions Hall on King Street, which fire fighters did not find anything.

Before 9 a.m. Monday, fire fighters were called out to Rosy's Stop N Go at the intersection of MLK Jr. Boulevard and West Front Street. The store clerk said that she could smell smoke in the building.

Fire fighters searched inside the store and outside. They also used a thermal device to try to detect any hot spots or fire. After searching for at least 30 minutes, they noticed a burned out hand dryer in the outside women's bathroom.