NEW BRITAIN â€“ A Hartford man is accused of setting a girlfriendâ€™s two cars on fire because she was talking to another man.
Jorge Rivera, 30, of Crown Street, was identified as a man recorded on Dec. 23 on video surveillance footage as walking up to one of the girlfriendâ€™s cars on Richard Street, a Hyundai XG350, a warrant for his arrest said. The man had what appeared to a plastic bottle the size of a Poland Spring bottle.
The manâ€™s actions werenâ€™t seen because of a tree obstructing the view, but a fire can be seen coming from the hood and the man runs away, the warrant said.
Prior to responding to that fire, fire crews responded to a fire up the street on Richard Street that involved the carâ€™s trunk becoming engulfed with flames, the warrant said. That car was also owned by the victim.
A city fire marshal processed the scene of both cars fired said he believe an accelerant was used in them, the warrant continued. A Poland Spring bottle that had a little bit of liquid in it and smelled like gasoline was found at the scene of the second car fire.
The girlfriend of the car told police she thought Rivera was responsible for burning both her cars, the warrant said. The two had got into an altercation in East Hartford the day before and he became up upset with her when he found out she was communicating with another male through Facebook.
The victim also said when she discovered her cars were on fire she called Rivera, who arrived at her residence within 5-10 minutes, the warrant continued. She thought that was suspicious because Rivera lives in Hartford.
Rivera said he was at his motherâ€™s house in Hartford when the girlfriend called him and then went to her house, which doesnâ€™t line up with the timeline given by the victim, police wrote in the warrant. Police traced the registration of Riveraâ€™s car, which he was renting from Enterprise, and it matched the car in the video surveillance.
Rivera was arrested Wednesday and is charged with two counts of second-degree arson. He was ordered held on $150,000 bond and is due in New Britain Superior Court on Friday.
Charles Paullin can be reached at 860-801-5074 or firstname.lastname@example.org.