AUSTIN (KXAN) — A man told police he wanted to “scare” another man and didn’t mean to hurt him or the building of a north Austin shopping center set on fire early Thursday morning.
Dwain Rene Lofton, 32, faces a deadly conduct charge, which is a Class A misdemeanor. He told police he had gotten into an argument with the man because he believed he had stolen from others, then later came to where he was sleeping, poured gasoline in a “c” shape around him and set it on fire, according to an arrest affidavit.
A witness told police he saw the argument near the Payton Gin Center on Payton Gin Road, and later saw Lofton walk up to the building with a container in his hand.
“The next thing he saw was fire at the steps by the building” and on the other man, according to the affidavit.
Crews were called to the Payton Gin Center just before 1 a.m.
AFD confirmed the fire started outside the building but got to the attic before crews contained it. They said it caused about $250,000 in damage and arson investigators determined it was purposefully set.
Lofton is currently listed as being in custody in the Travis County jail. He does not yet have an attorney listed.