Polk City, Florida – A Polk City teen is facing 3 counts of Attempted Murder after allegedly trying to burn his girlfriends house down the day after Thanksgiving.
According to reports on 11/24/17 at approximately 7:30pm a fire was reported at the residence located on Golden Gate Boulevard in Polk City. Three residents were home at the time of the fire. A Detective from the Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations responded to the scene and determined that an unknown flammable fluid was sprayed across the front side of the residence, specifically one bedroom, the yard, vehicles and a canoe. The unknown fluid was intentionally ignited causing damage to the residence. As well a heart shaped symbol was drawn with the fluid on the fence to the left of the specific bedroom. The female occupant of that bedroom had received several Snapchat’s allegedly from her boyfriend, Jose Bernardo Rosas Madrigal, which had threats of burning down her home.
Madrigal was witnessed at the scene after the fire, but said during the fire he was at his mother’s house in Auburndale, 25 minutes away from Polk City. Surveillance footage was recovered that shows Madrigal’s truck arrive at the home on Golden Gate Blvd at approximately 7:28pm. The original time that the victims called into 911 was 7:31pm. Madrigal was confronted about this which then he allegedly stated he was in the neighborhood driving by his girlfriends home trying to check on her. Madrigal then allegedly stated that he and girlfriend had gotten in an argument earlier in the day and he was trying to check on her. Madrigal stated that he drove by the residence three times, and on the third time he observed a fire burning in the front yard. Madrigal continued by allegedly stating that he observed the ignition of the fire. Madrigal allegedly stated that he didn’t know what to do, so he just left. Madrigal denied starting the fire. Madrigal then allegedly stated that he saw a, “random black guy” who had lit the fire and then fled on foot.
A search of Madrigals phone revealed a series of recent Google searches which all were made on 11/24/17 prior to the fire; “how to turn on fire building house”, “can you start charcoal with gasoline house on fire”, “x outside the house to burn up house”, “charcoal lighter fluid – and that turn a house in fire”, “how to burn a brick house down”, “does liquor have alcohol to turn on fire”.
A search of Madrigal’s vehicle was conducted. A half full bottle of Pinnacle Vodka was recovered. Madrigal stated that the vodka was his mother’s but that he put it in his truck.
Madrigal was confronted with the discovery of his search history. Madrigal allegedly stated that his brother, was the one who started the fire. Madrigal allegedly stated that he helped his brother complete the searches by typing them into Google. Madrigal allegedly stated that he was at the actual point of ignition of the fire with his brother when the fire was ignited. Madrigal allegedly stated that oil, gasoline, lighter fluid and a lighter were used. Madrigal allegedly stated that after the fire was ignited he drove his brother from the scene and dropped him off around the corner.
Madrigal allegedly stated that prior to the fire he knew his girlfriend and a friend were in the bedroom working on school work and another person was in the residence.
Based upon the investigation the Polk County Sheriff’s Deputy felt probable cause exists to arrest Jose Bernardo Rosas Madrigal with three counts of Attempted First Degree Homicide (FSS 777.04(1)), one count of First Degree Arson (FSS 806.01(1)) and Possession of Liquor by a Person Under 21 (FSS 562.111).
Madrigal was arrested and transported to Polk County Booking without issue.