HOUSTON -

It was a hectic start to the New Year for one Houston family after a man allegedly tried to set his girlfriend on fire. He tried to get away but police caught and arrested him with help from witnesses.

Houston police say family violence calls go up during the holidays and today was no exception.

"Me and my girlfriend got into a fight," the suspect told Local 2.

Handcuffed and under arrest, he says he and his girlfriend were simply arguing when someone called police. But investigators say arson investigators responded to the scene in northeast Houston because he tried to set the woman on fire. A neighbor who lives next door says she heard some of the commotion.

"You could hear her hollering and screaming and telling him to stop hitting her, but other than that I didn't see it all. She was in there beating on the wall. I guess for me to call the police, but I just didn't want to get into it because I stay here by myself."

Police say the woman wasn't injured, but upon hearing what happened, the woman's family members became angry with the boyfriend. Police had to keep them separated.

The suspect, 28-year-old Tyrus Arsenio Minkins, is now charged with aggravated assault of a family member.

The neighbors say they remained shocked by what happened. The alleged victim did not want to talk with us.