Man arrested, charged with trying to burn down Manor home

Crime
Elmer Benitez

Elmer Benitez, 32, was arrested and charged with attempted arson.

MANOR, Texas (KXAN) — A man was arrested Wednesday after his mom claims she saw him douse the home with gasoline.

According to a Travis County affidavit, deputies responded to a home on Briarcreek Loop in Manor for a family disturbance.

A caller reported that 32-year-old Elmer Benitez poured gasoline on the back of a home in an attempt to burn it down.

When deputies arrived, the affidavit said they were taken to the backyard and garage where they smelled a strong odor of gas.

Deputies say the ground between the house and garage was wet, even though there was no rain in the area and it was hot outside, the affidavit said.

Benitez was reportedly inside, and a lighter was found on him. He claimed he was trying to mow the lawn but forgot to put the lid on the weed eater, so gas spilled everywhere when he started it, the affidavit said.

Benitez’s mom said he threatened to burn the garage and house down after she refused to give him money for marijuana, the affidavit said. That’s when she said she saw Benitez pour gas on the home and called 911.

After a Travis County Fire Marshal confirmed the smell was gas, Benitez was arrested and taken to Central Booking Facility, the affidavit said.

He is charged with attempted arson, a second-degree felony.

According to Travis County jail records, Benitez’s bond is set at $25,000.

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