Memorial Day in Texas started off with a bang. A man threw what appears to be a Molotov cocktail at a gas station in Dallas on Monday in an attempt to set it on fire. The station manager said the man who committed the attack is homeless and has a history of causing problems for his employees.
Just after 5:00 a.m. on Monday, the man was caught on surveillance tape as he walked through the parking lot of the gas station. The man is carrying several sticks of flammable material, and lights one and hurtles it toward the front of the station. Then he lights another from flames that have fallen to the ground and throws it, too. He chucks the third stick at the station without lighting it.
The attack caused minor damage to the front of the station, which is located on McKinney Avenue in Dallas. The station is just north of the city’s arts district in an area that is brimming with offices, restaurants and retail stores.
The station manager told KXAS-TV that he has seen the man before and describes him as homeless. The manager also said the man has caused problems at the station in the past.
Nationwide, arson remains a rare crime -- robbery, burglary and assault are far more common. In 2013, law enforcement agencies reported 44,840 cases of arson and the number of arson cases had dropped 13.5 percent from 2012. Each case of arson was said to cause an average of $14,390 in losses in 2013, which is the most recent year for which data is available, according to the FBI.