HOUSTON – Bond has been denied for the man accused of setting fire to the homes belonging to his estranged wife and her family, in addition to attempting to run his wife over with a vehicle, according to prosecutors.
Pablo Patino, who’s been charged with two counts of arson and aggravated assault of a family member, appeared before a judge in a Harris County courthouse Tuesday morning.
Investigators said Patino lit his wife’s family’s home on fire on Jan. 3, then two days later, set fire to his wife’s home in Spring, prompting a SWAT standoff.
A crowd of concerned neighbors and onlookers grew outside the burning house as firefighters battled to contain the flames and prevent them from spreading to neighboring homes.
Patino, who was barricaded inside, eventually gave up, climbed out of window - as neighbors clapped and cheered - and was taken into custody.
During Tuesday’s hearing, Ring and other home surveillance video was shown as evidence. A man, identified as Patino, can be seen setting fire to paper and holding a gas can.
The defense argued that Patino, 28, has never been in trouble with the law and questioned the credibility of the video.
They called Patino’s sister, Jessica Gomez, to testify.
Gomez said the acts of the man seen in the video are not consistent with the character of her brother.
Patino’s ex-wife also took the stand.
During a previous appearance, a combined bond amount was set at $4.5 million, but in his latest appearance, the judge ruled that the arson offense violated the protective order his wife had in place, so bond was denied.
How it all began
On Tuesday, Patino went to his in-laws’ home in the 11400 block of Mortimer, where his estranged wife was staying.
It was 3:30 a.m. when he intentionally set the fire in order to lure his wife outside, where he was waiting inside a vehicle, officials said.
The family dogs alerted the wife’s family to the fire.
When the wife evacuated the burning home, Patino allegedly struck her with his vehicle.
The victim’s 23-year-old brother, Logan Saldana, was attempting to put out the flames with a fire extinguisher when he heard his sister screaming.
“I heard her say, ‘What’s going on?’ and he drove off,” Saldana said. “I heard the car screech off, do a doughnut and he came and hit her with the car and drove off.”
Patino abandoned the car a few blocks away.
The Harris County District Attorney’s Office accepted arson of habitation, violation of protective order, and aggravated assault charges in that case, the fire marshal’s office said.
Patino remained on the run until Thursday when the SWAT situation unfolded.
“There’s no inkling of any of this when you’re having your normal neighborly interactions with these people?” reporter, Joel Eisenbaum asked a neighbor next to the family’s burnt home.
“No, not at all. Nope, nope. Very nice. People quiet. Yep,” Roxanne Ericson said.
Deputies say Patino had previously been arrested for a domestic violence incident and had posted a $5,000 bond on Dec. 26 before these situations ensued.