WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (WPEC) — A diagnosed schizophrenic, bipolar and aggressive psychotic man set fire to a residence with two children inside, broke the gas line to the home's hot water heater to fill it with gas and wielded two knives while deputies attempted to arrest him, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office (PBSO) said.
The man, 45-year-old Alvaro Blandon, is charged with first-degree arson, resisting arrest with violence, domestic battery, attempted murder of law enforcement and eight counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer with a deadly weapon. Now, the state has 30 days to file formal charges against Blandon with a deadline of June 22 and has an initial case conference scheduled the following month.
According to the arrest affidavit, at around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Palm Beach County deputies arrived to the home after receiving domestic battery calls. According to the affidavit, Blandon was having a psychotic episode and acting aggressively towards the unnamed victims. In a PBSO's domestic violence probable cause form, at least two children are marked to be living in the home that Blandon was having an episode in and set fire to.
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Sheriff's deputies tried asking Blandon to come outside, but after they smelled smoke and saw him through the window with something on fire in his hands, the deputies entered.
The sheriff's office said Blandon was found locked in a bedroom, which law enforcement breached and saw Blandon holding two knives. The deputies used batons and a Taser, but he would still not drop the knives, forcing them exit the home while overwhelmed with smoke to regroup, the affidavit said.
The arrest report stated, Blandon left the bedroom for the kitchen, where he was taken into custody with the help of a Taser.
Firefighters put out multiple flames within the house and concluded there were four separate places where they had been started, according to the affidavit.
One of the unnamed victims told deputies they installed video cameras inside and outside of the home to observe Blandon, and this person saw him on video acting erratic, smashing cameras and being aggressive towards the other victims in the home. One of the unnamed victims told deputies that Blandon is off his medication and hasn't slept or eaten for days, the records said.
According to one of the victims, they told deputies Blandon was making threatening statements toward the family in the home days prior to this incident, saying he will set the house on fire.
Because it was found that Blandon intentionally broke the gas line for the hot water heater, putting neighbors and the deputies at risk for their lives, he is accused of the attempted murder charge on top of the others.
The sheriff's office said after being read his rights, Blandon confessed he lit the house on fire and was holding knives in hopes the deputies would shoot and kill him. Blandon accused two of the unnamed victims in the affidavit of taking everything from him, so he was going "to take everything from them" in return by setting fire to the home, the affidavit said.
Blandon is currently being held at the Main Detention Center in Palm Beach County with a $129,000 bond amount.