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Man accused of setting fire to ex-boyfriend's apartment after breakup

by Nikki Metzgar/ Staff

Posted on September 28, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Updated Friday, Sep 28 at 2:53 PM

HOUSTON—A man has been charged after lighting fire to his ex-partner’s apartment after a breakup, according to court documents.

The owner of a home on the 1400 block of Scharpe in southeast Houston reported that he woke up in the middle of the night on August 29. He heard his tenant in the garage apartment behind his house yelling, "Help! Fire!"

The owner, Juan Brioso, told police he saw flames coming from inside the apartment and grabbed a garden hose, but had difficulty getting into the house because a couch was blocking the door.

The tenant, Richard Perkins, was able to escape without injury.

Perkins reported that he had been having problems with his ex-partner David Arriaga, 32, ever since they broke up three days before.

Both Perkins and Brioso allegedly saw Arriaga leap from the second-story bathroom window of the apartment as the fire started.

Investigators determined that the fire was set to the curtains and couch in the living room. According to court documents, they also found the note, "I never cheated on you. Rich, I only want u sorry I have to do this" written on bed sheets signed "David."

Perkins told police that Arriaga has apologized multiple times on Facebook for starting the fire.

Arriaga has been charged with arson. His bail is set at $20,000.