FORT WORTH, Texas — Authorities in Texas are asking for the public’s help identifying a man who set a hotel clerk on fire during an attempted robbery Sunday night in Fort Worth.
Fire department spokesperson Mike Drivdahl on Tuesday called the attack, which left the clerk with minor injuries and damaged the hotel, "an absolutely horrific crime."
“We need your help to put the suspect in custody,” he said.
Video footage shared by investigators showed the suspect talking to the clerk from behind a partition around 10:15 p.m. at the Budget Host Inn on Tanacross Drive. In the video, the man can be seen squirting a clear liquid out of a bottle and through a hole in the partition, onto the clerk.
Fire investigators said the man made demands and threatened to burn the clerk alive if he refused. Surveillance footage showed the man carried through with his threat and set the liquid ablaze before fleeing from the area in a white four-door vehicle.
The arsonist was described as a possibly Hispanic male with long hair. In video pulled from a nearby gas station, he could be seen wearing a teal shirt and a ball cap. Before attempting to rob the hotel, fire investigators said the man covered his tee with a pink button-down T-shirt and turned his cap inside out.
Anyone with information about the crime was asked to contact Lt. James Horton at 817-392-6229 or call Tarrant County Crime Stoppers to leave an anonymous tip at 817-469-TIPS.