A man was charged with arson today after setting a house on fire in NW Amarillo, jumping into a stranger's backseat looking for a ride, and later being picked up by police.
At about 9:30 a.m., APD and Amarillo Fire Department were sent to the 500 block of S. Forrest on a structure fire.
Upon arrival, they discovered the residence at 503 S. Forrest was fully engulfed by fire.
As fire officials began combating the fire, APD began crowd control and looking for any possible witnesses.
Officers were contacted by two witnesses that stated they had just given a ride to a male subject from this address.
They stated the man came running out of the back yard, jumped in the back seat of their car, and asked for a ride.
He reportedly made a statement to them that he had just lit that house on fire.
The witnesses drove straight to the fire station located in the 100 block of S. Western with the suspect in the back seat.
The suspect hopped out of the vehicle and ran south from the fire station.
The witnesses returned back to the scene of the fire and reported to officers what happened, and gave a description of the suspect.
After a radio broadcast, APD officers located a man matching the suspect's description in the 400 block of S. Western.
The male was taken into custody and returned to the scene where he was positively identified as the suspect.
Pablo Sanchez, 44. He was booked into the Potter County Correction Center on a charge of arson of a building/habitation or vehicle, a state jail felony.
The incident remains under invetigation by the Amarillo Fire Marshal's Office.