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Fire marshal: Man naked below waist accused of home arson

April 9, 2021 GMT
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This photo provided by Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office shows mobile home that was set on fire in Mamou, La. The Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office says a man wearing nothing below the waist has been arrested and accused of setting fire to a mobile home occupied by a woman, a baby and two other children. The fire marshal's office says 33-year-old James Rozas of Mamou was arrested Friday, April 9, 2021 on charges of arson, attempted murder and violating a protective order after the pre-dawn fire. (Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office via AP)
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This photo provided by Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office shows mobile home that was set on fire in Mamou, La. The Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office says a man wearing nothing below the waist has been arrested and accused of setting fire to a mobile home occupied by a woman, a baby and two other children. The fire marshal's office says 33-year-old James Rozas of Mamou was arrested Friday, April 9, 2021 on charges of arson, attempted murder and violating a protective order after the pre-dawn fire. (Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office via AP)

MAMOU, La. (AP) — A man wearing nothing below the waist set fire before dawn Friday to a mobile home occupied by a woman and three children, including a baby, and was arrested without incident before noon, authorities said.

The woman, baby and two school-age children escaped unharmed but the home and the woman’s car were total losses, said Ashley Rodrigue, spokeswoman for the Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office.

The woman told investigators that James N. Rozas, 33, was clad only in a hooded sweatshirt and had a gun when he entered the home in Mamou, telling the older children they had to get out because he had set fire to the home and the car parked outside, Rodrigue said.

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He was still wearing “no items of clothing below the hoodie” when he was taken into custody about 25 miles (45 kilometers) away late Friday morning on charges of arson, attempted murder and violating a protective order, Rodrigue said.

A news release said Rozas is accused of stealing three vehicles during his flight from Mamou, a south-central Louisiana town about 85 miles (135 kilometers) west of the state capital of Baton Rouge.

“They were not carjackings,” Rodrigue said in a phone interview.

Rodrigue said she did not know whether Rozas has an attorney who could speak for him. His bond was set at $915,000, the news release said.

The statement said firefighters were called to the mobile home about 3 a.m. Friday.

The fire marshal’s Fugitive Apprehension Team began searching for Rozas while deputies investigated the fire, according to the statement. It said fires were lit at several points in the home and in a vehicle outside the dwelling in Mamou, in Evangeline Parish.

Authorities said several law enforcement agencies, including Louisiana State Police, helped the fire marshal’s team track Rozas to the town of Kinder in neighboring Allen Parish.