RPD arrests, charges Herrera with arson

November 19, 2010 • Local News

Elmon James “Jaime” Herrera Jr., 36, was arrested, Wednesday, and charged with two counts of arson, three counts of abuse of a child and one count of vehicle burglary. The arrest results from a two-month-long investigation of two incidents that took place on Sept. 4.

According to the criminal complaint filed in Magistrate Court, the Roswell Police Department arrived at the 100 block of East Bonney Street around 7 a.m. to investigate an alleged arson. Of ficers observed that two vehicles, one parked [auth] inside the garage and the other parked in the driveway, were burned. Two women and three children were inside the residence when the house was set on fire.

A witness heard a slam-ming car door and squealing tires. The suspect was observed breaking into a car. The witness saw a flicking lighter. The subject threw something and “everything turned to flames.” On the following day, RPD were called to a second location in the 400 block of South Fir Avenue, where one of the residents heard something in the alley.

“An unknown male with long, wavy dark hair” exited a brown or tan Ford Crown Victoria. The resident heard a bang and saw the front of the house on fire. He grabbed a hose to put out the fire while the subject ran to his vehicle and fled north to Alameda Street.

According to the report, police spoke with two witness who overheard a conversation in which Herrera confessed to setting the fires. One of the officers contacted a local store manager, who observed a man fitting Herrera’s description purchase a gallon container of tea.

The subject then poured out the tea and filled the container with gas. Of ficials obtained receipts and surveillance video. The video was then shown to witnesses who said it appeared to be the same subject observed starting the fire. Chaves County Sheriff’s Office served the arrest warrant. Herrera is being held at Chaves County Detention Center.

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