Man arrested after setting fire to bed with woman nearby

Joseph Luis Cruz, 35, of Jonesboro was arrested July 8 on suspicion of arson.
Joseph Luis Cruz, 35, of Jonesboro was arrested July 8 on suspicion of arson.(Source: Craighead Co. Sheriff's Office)
Published: Jul. 9, 2021 at 5:36 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - A Craighead County man faces an arson charge after Jonesboro police say he torched the bottom of a bed with a lighter while a woman was in the bedroom.

Joseph Luis Cruz, 35, of Jonesboro, was arrested July 8 after an investigation by Jonesboro police and the Jonesboro Fire Department.

Police said in a probable cause affidavit that the Jonesboro Fire Department went to an apartment fire July 1 in the 500 block of West Huntington.

Authorities did an investigation and spoke with the woman at the house.

The woman told police she saw Cruz light the bottom foot end of the bed with a lighter.

“A guest of the occupant stated that he witnessed Joseph Cruz trying to extinguish the fire. The guest also stated that the occupant, Joseph Cruz and himself were the only people in the apartment at the time of the fire,” Jonesboro police said.

As the guest tried to put out the fire, Cruz ran out of the apartment and did not return, police said.

Police also interviewed the woman.

“She stated that Cruz was looking at her while reaching under the bed. Mr. Cruz never looked down at what he was doing while he was crouched down at the foot of the bed when it ignited,” the woman told police.

She also said Cruz set fire to a dog training pad in the bathroom before the bed caught on fire.

Police also said in the probable cause affidavit that Cruz left a voice mail message on the woman’s cell phone.

“He stated that he was sorry for setting her bed on fire. He stated that her yelling at him caused him to be distracted and accidentally set the bed on fire,” Jonesboro police said. “In the voice message, Mr. Cruz claimed he was looking for something under the bed. The occupant stated that he never looked under the bed but stared at her while crouching at the foot of the bed when the fire initiated.”

Police say Cruz and the woman were in an argument at the time of the fire and that there was previous history of domestic issues between the pair.

A $100,000 bond was set for Cruz, who will be arraigned Aug. 27 in circuit court.

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