SAN JOSE, Calif – On March 16, 2014 SJPD officers were patrolling an area near Sonora Avenue and Koencrest Avenue. When they arrived near the area they had noticed a large plume of smoke in the area. Once they arrived near the scene they saw a man near an electrical box with a fire in front of the building 1631 N. 1st Street, just a block away from the residence of 30-year-old Jimray Alcantara Rodillas.
Officers noticed that the man they soon identified as Rodillas had built a fire with cardboard and several small items, including snails, near the electrical box. Officers used a fire extinguisher to put out the fire. Several minutes later the cardboard caught on fire again and officers had to re-extinguish the fire.
Rodillas was taken into custody and arrested for arson under PC 451 (D) Felony Arson of a Commercial Office Building. He had also been arrested earlier in March, on the 5th, on charges of being under the influence of a controlled substance while driving through Milpitas.
After questioning Rodillas, the San Jose PD officers said, “He lit the fire because he was trying to kill a snail”. It was determined that Rodillas was littering on the property when he had used the cardboard to start the fire. Rodillas appeared in Court on March 20 in Dept 42 and is expected to submit a plea for further sentencing for the incident on June 12, 2014. The charge has been changed from a Felony in this matter to a misdemeanor charge under PC 602 (m) and infraction for entering and occupying real property or structures of any kind without the consent of the owner.