Crime

Police: Man with gasoline threatens to burn family’s home until resident fires his gun

Homeowner fires warning shots to ward off man with gasoline

A Fresno homeowner fires warning shots when a man armed with a soda bottle of gasoline threatened to burn down the family's home on Wednesday, March 1, 2017.
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A Fresno homeowner fires warning shots when a man armed with a soda bottle of gasoline threatened to burn down the family's home on Wednesday, March 1, 2017.

A homeowner in southwest Fresno fired two warning shots from a handgun early Wednesday after he was confronted by a man who was trying to burn his house down with a bottle of gasoline, police said.

Police who sped to the incident near Elm and North avenues shortly after 6 a.m. arrested Maurilio Miranda, 48, on charges of attempted arson, assault with a deadly weapon and trespassing, police Lt. Joe Gomez reported.

It was not the first time that the homeowner has been the target of Miranda, Gomez said. On Feb. 8, Miranda was arrested on felony vandalism charges after he broke 20 windows, causing $4,800 in damage to the house on South Clara and East Chester avenues. On Feb. 10, police believe Miranda tried to burn the house in a previous incident involving gasoline.

It was after these two events that the resident installed video cameras at his home and bought a semi-automatic firearm to protect his family. Gomez said Miranda apparently “has a beef” with a previous resident of the home and not with the family now residing there.

Early Wednesday, Miranda, who lives in the Easton area, rode his bicycle back to the home, carrying a soda bottle full of gasoline, Gomez said. The family spotted Miranda outside pouring the gas around the perimeter. The homeowner grabbed the handgun and went outside.

When Miranda tried to set the homeowner on fire by tossing gasoline at him and flicking a lighter, the homeowner fired a warning shot into the ground. Miranda continued to run around the property, grabbing a board and raising it as if to strike the homeowner. That prompted the homeowner to fire a second warning shot into the ground and warn Miranda that he would shoot him. Miranda then put down the board until police arrived.

Gomez said the homeowner showed great restraint in not shooting the suspect.

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