Man steps on own fire bomb while vandalizing car

By Robert Arnold - Investigative Reporter

HOUSTON - A southeast Houston man claims a "shakedown" for money is behind a series of threats that culminated with a Molotov cocktail being used to heavily damage his car.

The fire happened early Monday morning at a complex on Reveille near Joplin.

Surveillance cameras at the home captured the entire incident.

On the video a shadowy figure is seen approaching a Cadillac parked in front of the complex. The man is then seen lighting what appears to be a homemade fire bomb. The video shows the man setting the device on the ground before trying to smash the car's passenger side window with a brick.

The man's plan hits a snag when he is seen throwing the brick against the window several times before it shatters. The video then shows the man stepping on his own fire bomb as he tries to clear away the rest of the glass from the window. The man is then seen running away with his foot on fire. The flames then spread to the car and caused heavy damage.

The owner of the Cadillac spoke with Local 2 under the condition we not reveal his identity. He said he believes he knows exactly who is behind this act of vandalism.

"They're a Bin Laden to the gypsy community," the man said. "I've been having terroristic threats, multiple threats on my life."

This man said he is a business owner who is being shaken down for money. Local 2 confirmed he has filed multiple police reports claiming harassment, but so far no one has been arrested, which is why Local 2 is not revealing the name of the person suspected of starting this fire.

"This is not a feud that's going on, this is his M.O.," the man said. "We want the law to take this very seriously before somebody dies or gets seriously hurt."

Officials with the Houston Police Department said detectives with the Major Offenders' "swindle squad" are working on the case, as are investigators with the Houston Fire Department's arson bureau.

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