Crime News

Fort Worth authorities seek help in ID'ing suspect who lit hotel lobby on fire

Fort Worth seeks help in ID'ing suspect who lit hotel desk on fire

Budget Host Inn robber
Robber pointing to the cash drawer. Courtesy photo

An unusually brutal robbery attempt occurred in a far north Fort Worth hotel in which the robber lit the reception desk on fire, and the Fort Worth Fire Department is seeking the public's help in identifying the suspect.

The suspect's action was captured in a surveillance video from the hotel, which authorities posted on Facebook and hope will aid in his capture. (They warn that it contains graphic images.)

According to a release, it took place on Sunday May 24, at approximately 10:15 pm, when an unknown male walked into the lobby of the Budget Host Inn at 3720 Tanacross Dr.

He made robbery demands to the clerk and threatened to burn him alive if he did not comply. The suspect then attempted to carry through with his threat, causing minor burns to the clerk and extensive damage to the office.

According to the police, the suspect is believed to be a Hispanic male with long hair. He's visible in the gas station video, wearing a kerchief around the bottom half of his face; a teal T-shirt, covered with a button-down pink shirt; and a ball cap he has turned inside out.

In the video, he can be seen leaving the scene in a white four-door car believed to be a Honda Accord with a sunroof and rear spoiler.

The video shows the guy carrying a plastic water bottle filled with some kind of accelerant which he immediately pours through the small window opening over the attendant's desk.

You can see him pointing to the money drawer with one hand, and brandishing a lighter in the other. It's quite shocking when he lights it and throws the lighter into the opening, causing a massive flame up.

Fortunately, the attendant backs up in time to avoid getting seriously harmed.

The officers say that they have gathered a lot of evidence and expect it will yield more information as they analyze it in the coming days.

Anyone that has information about this suspect’s identity or this crime is urged to contact Fort Worth Fire Department Lt James Horton at 817-929-8735 or Tarrant Co Crime Stoppers at 817-469-TIPS where you may remain anonymous.