UPDATE (9/13): Rodriguez is scheduled to undergo a competency evaluation and is due back in court Oct. 12, according to court records.
DELANO, Calif. (KGET) — A man accused of starting a fire at the Department of Human Services building in Delano told police he targeted that location because it’s a government building, and if released he would set the local DMV on fire, according to court documents.
Alejandro Mendoza Rodriguez, 30, said he intended to burn down the building because he has problems with the government, the newly released filings say. He told police he knew people were inside.
“It should be noted (Rodriguez) started the fire at front lobby which to his knowledge would prevent employees from leaving the building,” an investigator wrote.
There is no mention of injuries.
Rodriguez is held on $550,000 bail on charges of attempted murder, arson, possession of materials for arson and vandalism.
Police were called around 11:30 a.m. Aug. 31 to the building on Cecil Avenue for a vandalism investigation. Multiple witnesses told police a man threw rocks that shattered windows before entering the building and telling employees to leave because he was going to “burn the place up.”
The man let two people leave then poured gasoline on the floor and set it ablaze, witnesses said.
A corrections officer detained Rodriguez until officers arrived, police said.
Rodriguez is due back in court Monday.