The Norman Transcript


February 27, 2014

Man charged with June arson

NORMAN — An Oklahoma City man was charged Wednesday for second-degree arson after allegedly starting a fire at a Moore business in June.

Arturo Cortez, 37, fled from police June 30 after he and another man were spotted driving away from a burning commercial building at 2252 N. Broadway Ave., according to the affidavit filed with the charge.

When officers attempted to stop the vehicle, it continued to Northeast 27th Street before Cortez and the driver attempted to flee on foot.

Officers apprehended the driver, Saul Gonzalez, 29, but were unable to apprehend Cortez at the time.

Gonzalez also was charged Wednesday with driving without a driver’s license, failure to carry insurance or a security verification form and failure to stop at a stop sign.

Gonzalez told police he ran because he didn’t have a driver’s license or insurance on the vehicle. When police found five-gallon buckets of gasoline in the bed of the truck and a 250 count box of matches in the passenger side floorboard, they asked Gonzalez what he knew about the fire.

Apparently, he was driving Cortez’s vehicle home for him because Cortez was intoxicated. Cortez asked him to pull up to the parking lot of Home Creations, the business at Broadway Avenue, because he needed to urinate, the affidavit said.

The next thing Gonzalez knew, the building was covered in flames and Cortez jumped back in the vehicle, telling him to leave.

When police asked if how he didn’t notice Cortez pouring a bucket of gasoline on the building or hear him bust the front window of the business out, Gonzalez said he heard the window bust and saw Cortez but didn’t know what was going on, the affidavit said.

When police asked Gonzalez why his clothes smelled like gasoline, he said it was because he was a mechanic and all of his clothes smell like that, the document said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
New and Developing




Must Read


Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN