What do you do when you find yourself in a jam with potentially damning consequences? Blame an imaginary black guy, of course. That was the first line of defense that came to mind for 19-year-old Polk County, Florida arson suspect Jose Bernando Rosas Madrigal when questioned by police for setting his girlfriends house on fire. According to WFLA News, the teen sprayed flammable fluid on the front of the house and set it on fire while his girlfriend and her family were inside. When questioned by police about the Nov. 24 incident, Madrigal said he saw a “random black guy” setting the fire.
When asked about his whereabouts during the arson, Madrigal-who had previously sent Snapchat messages to his girlfriend threatening to burn down her house-claimed that he was 25 minutes away at his mother's house. Surveillance footage obtained by police disproved his alibi. When confronted with footage showing him driving to the scene, Madrigal admitted to driving past his girlfriend’s house a few times but continued to deny setting the fire. He said he detected “a random black guy” lighting the flame. Unsure of what to do, Madrigal said he simply left.
“He planned this in advance. He Googled how to burn the house, he mixed the combination and poof he set it on fire. And poof we put him in jail,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd told WFLA. “It’s by the grace of God that we don’t have three people burned up in a house fire.”
Madrigal is being held in Polk County, Florida jail where he's been charged with three counts of attempted first-degree homicide, one count of first-degree arson and underage possession of liquor after cops found vodka in his car.