98ºF

Man uses golf cart to break into Buddhist temple, attempts to start fire, officials say

Luis F. Aparicio is accused of stealing a golf cart, crashing it into a church and then lighting the church on fire.
Luis F. Aparicio is accused of stealing a golf cart, crashing it into a church and then lighting the church on fire. (HCSO)

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – A 36-year-old man is facing a trio of serious charges after authorities said he took a golf cart, used it to break into the front doors of a Buddhist temple and attempted to set the southwest Houston building on fire last month.

Luis Aparicio was charged with arson, burglary of a building and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle after authorities said he took a golf cart that was on the temple's property to ram through the front doors of the worship center and attempted to start a fire in the kitchen.

According to court records, on Sept. 19, Aparicio took a golf cart without permission and used it to ram through the front doors of the Lien Hoa Temple in the 6700 block of Sugarland Howell Road.

Once inside, Aparicio attempted to start a fire with kitchen oil, paper and a lighter, according to court documents. He was unsuccessful in starting the fire, but the burning piece of paper left a mark on the floor, officials said.

Officials said surveillance video showed Aparicio taking the golf cart and driving it into the temple's front doors.

Aparicio is expected to appear in court on Thursday where his bond will be set by the judge.