FARMINGTON – Farmington police have arrested a homeless man after he allegedly threatened to burn down a gas station with a flamethrower.
Tito Roberson, 28, was being held Wednesday at San Juan County Adult Detention Center, according to the jail’s website.
Officers responded at 2:14 p.m. Feb. 18 to the Conoco at 1000 W. Main St., where people reported Roberson was throwing rocks at the building and threatening to burn the place down, according to the Farmington Police Department’s case report.
When police arrived, they were told Roberson left the area and were pointed in the direction of his last known whereabouts.
Police interviewed the gas station attendant, who said the suspect had been asking customers for money. The attendant asked the man to leave, but he returned with a propane torch, according to the report. He backed the attendant into the gas station and lit the torch as she yelled for him to stop, police said.
“Tito advanced with the torch still lit and was yelling at her saying, ‘I could burn you right now,’ and then threatening to burn down the whole store,” the report said. A second store clerk yelled for Roberson to stop, but he turned toward her, with the torch turned on, then grabbed eight lighters from a case and left the store, according to the report.
When police found Roberson on the south side of Main Street, he ran, according to the report. Police initiated a foot pursuit, during which Roberson allegedly threw an unknown object from his pocket. Police said Roberson slowed down until one officer pointed his Taser at him and ordered him to get down. Roberson did and was taken into custody without further incident, according to the report.
Police were unable to find the unknown object he threw.
After concealing his identity, Roberson was taken by police to the San Juan County Adult Detention Center, and charged with aggravated assault; resisting, evading or obstructing an officer; petty larceny shoplifting; concealed identity; and two warrants.
Roberson’s attorney raised the question of competency March 3 and he will go to district court to determine if he is competent or not.