FRESNO – Police are looking for a man they believe is responsible for beating his girlfriend and then setting fire to her house this past weekend.
Around 1:30 a.m. Sunday, the girlfriend of Manuel Roman Canez, 49, reported that she was hit several times by her domestic partner. She was treated at Community Regional Medical Center for swelling to her head and cheeks and released soon after.
Around 11:45 p.m. that night, officers were called to the same home on East Kerckhoff Avenue on another domestic abuse report from the same woman. Police say that Canez returned to the house, beat his girlfriend and broke her nose.
“He did all of this with his hands,” said Sgt. Daniel Macias.
Investigators said that before he left, Canez also threatened his girlfriend, saying he would burn her house down and kill her.
Early Monday morning, not long after the second attack, the house the couple lived in together was reported on fire. The woman was in the hospital being treated for her injuries at the time, and the house was unoccupied.
Fire investigators said that the fire started in the victim’s bedroom and arson is suspected. The fire destroyed several rooms and melted two cars in the neighbor’s driveway.
Because the suspect apparently followed through on his threat, Fresno police are “actively searching for (Canez),” Macias said. They consider Canez violent and dangerous. They are asking for the public’s help in the search.
Canez is said to be driving a burgundy PT Cruiser with the California license plate 6GAJ102. Anyone with information is encouraged to call Fresno police at (559) 621-7000 or Crime Stoppers at (559) 498-7867.