ST. GEORGE – A St. George man was arrested Thursday for allegedly causing a vehicle fire with a Molotov cocktail in July.
The original incident took place July 15 when a freight truck parked in the area of 970 N. 1300 West in St. George was hit by an ignited beer bottle thrown from a passing car, according a police probable cause statement.
“The initial investigation discovered a vehicle was seen on surveillance in the area (and) a beer bottle that was lit on fire being thrown onto another unoccupied vehicle parked on the side of the road,” the document states.
Damage to the truck was estimated to be $3,000.
A vehicle matching the description of the car seen in the surveillance footage was eventually located and found to be registered to 37-year-old Rene Elizarraraz, of St. George.
The owner of the freight truck told police Elizarraraz had previously worked for him and recently tried unsuccessfully to get rehired by the company.
Elizarraraz initially denied involvement in the incident when contacted over the phone. However, when police met him at his home, he admitted he was the one who threw the Molotov cocktail, according to the police statement.
He said the reason behind the incident was his anger at his former employer, who he claimed had stolen money from him.
Elizarraraz was arrested and booked into the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility Thursday on a charge of third-degree felony arson. He has since been released from custody and had an initial court appearance set for Friday.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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