Fayetteville man arrested for arson, 6 counts of attempted capital murder

Fayetteville police have arrested a 32-year-old man on charges of arson and attempted capital murder for allegedly setting fire to a home with six people inside on West Elm Street.

According to a police report (PDF), officers responded to 33 W. Elm St. for a disturbance at around 1:30 a.m. Thursday. A woman at the home told police that her husband, Nicholas Rodriguez, tried to choke her during an argument, and that he had previously threatened to kill her.

Nicholas Rodriguez / Washington Co. Sheriff

Officers were unable to locate Rodriguez, but were called back to the home shortly before 5 a.m. for reports of a fire at the residence.

When officials arrived, three adults and three children had evacuated the home which was burning on three sides. One adult extinguished flames at one doorway to help the three children escape, while the other two adults jumped over flames at another doorway.

One of the adults told police she thought that Rodriguez had started the fire, which had been set at all three doorways of the home.

Officers located Rodriguez near the intersection of Gregg Avenue and Township Street where he was arrested for the earlier incident. Rodriguez later admitted to police that he had started the fires at the home.

Rodriguez was charged with six counts of Attempted Capital Murder, Arson, Terroristic Threatening and Aggravated Assault on a Family or Household Member.

» Read the police report