HIALEAH (CBS4) — Police have released dramatic new surveillance tape of an arsonist setting fire to a Hialeah woman’s car and that victim is calling the criminal “a coward.”
“I’d like to say that he was coward,” said the victim Irene Sacerio. “This is not right. This is criminal. This must be punished by the law.
“An image paints a thousand words,” said Detective Carl Zogby, the Executive Assistant to the Chief of Police. “He left behind thousands of dollars of damage. It’s considered a vandalism, an arson.”
Hialeah Police are looking into the possibility that Sacerio’s husband was being sent a message because he is the President of the building’s condominium association, according to Sacerio.
“We’re thinking this could be some sort of vengeance because of some action that might have been taken. These people have a rough job,” said Zogby. “We think he deliberately targeted this vehicle. He wanted to do as much damage as he could. And he did.”
“For sure he would do this for revenge because my husband Michel Delgado is trying to enforce the good law for everyone in the condominium,” said Sacerio.
Sacerio told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench she was horrified by what happened to her 2005 Nissan Exterra on the night of October 28, 2013 in the parking lot of the building where she lives at 1305 West 53rd Street.
The tape shows a person described as a white male between the age of 20 and 30 pouring gasoline on to the hood of the car. Within seconds, the car is seen bursting into flames after the gasoline is ignited.
“I feel very afraid for the life of my son and the life of my family,” said Sacerio. “This guy is putting at risk the life of everyone in this condominium.”
Sacerio said that’s because her car was set on fire right next to a gas pipe for the building.
“He sets fire on the ground floor of a complex where there are people living right above the flames,” said Zogby. “The building could have been set on fire.”
Sacerio did not want to show all of her face but she did want to speak out.
“I just feel very afraid for my family,” she told D’Oench. “This is also costing us a lot because I didn’t have insurance. I cancelled my vandalism insurance for economic reasons.”
“This person should have talked to my husband instead of doing this,” she said. “I would like to say to everyone, please, if you recognize this individual advise us, call the police officers or the TV stations. This is really important to stop this vandalism and the criminals.”
Zogby said, “We need to find him and find out what his motivations were and why he did this. This is a good image so we know that someone will recognize him and help us find out who he is.”
Anyone with information about the man seen in the surveillance tape should call Hialeah Police at (305) 687-2525 or Miami-Dade Crimestoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).