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Suspect Attacks Family With Hammer and Crowbar and then Sets House on Fire Print E-mail
News - Local
Written by B|V|N Newsroom   
Wednesday, 25 January 2017 08:36
FRESNO - Late Tuesday morning Central officers from the Fresno Police Department were dispatched to 1147 W. Lansing Way regarding an armed disturbance with a family member hitting other family members with a crowbar. Officers responded code three, lights and sirens activated, to the location. As officers were responding to the residence, dispatch provided an update that the suspect set the house on fire.

When officers arrived on scene, they found the house engulfed in flames with the suspect, Richard Garcia, 58 years, sitting on the front porch of the residence armed with a knife. Officers told Garcia to drop the knife which he did. He was then detained and during this period Garcia claimed he started the fire to kill "those people" but he would not say who he was talking about in the residence.

Fresno Fire Department arrived quickly and extinguished the blaze finding no injured parties inside. Shortly after the fire was extinguished, investigators learned the injured victims were at a neighbors house down the street. Officers contacted the victims and were told the following. That 58-year-old female victim is the suspects sister and the 59-year-old male victim is the sister's husband. All of them live together at the Lansing address.

Tuesday morning, suspect Garcia asked the male victim for a cigarette and the victim gave Garcia a cigarette. Garcia was upset because he felt the cigarette was in adequate. The male victim said Garcia approached him and had a crowbar in his hand and suddenly struck the male victim in the head with the crowbar.

Garcia also struck his sister with the crowbar and he also grabbed a hammer and hit them with the hammer. According to the victims, Garcia also grab a kitchen knife and chase them around the house. Both victims head in separate rooms in the house and they believe that Garcia thought they were still in the residence when he lit the residence on fire. Unbeknownst to Garcia, both victims escaped the residence before Garcia started the fire.

The male victim climbed out a bedroom window and the female victim ran out the front door of the house as Garcia ran into the kitchen. It is not known how Garcia started the fire as he is not saying how he did it at this time. Once the victims got out of the house, they ran to the neighbors residence and as they were doing so the female victim called the police.

Garcia has been arrested for felony arson and for two counts of assault with a deadly weapon. He sustained lacerations to his legs and hands from cutting himself with the kitchen knife. He was treated at CRMC and later booked at Fresno County Jail.

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