Man accused of trying to burn down home with his family inside - Tucson News Now


Man accused of trying to burn down home with his family inside

Luther Cruz, 18. (Source: Pinal County Sheriff's Office) Luther Cruz, 18. (Source: Pinal County Sheriff's Office)
PINAL COUNTY, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A San Tan Valley man is facing charges after police say he allegedly tried to burn his house down with his family inside. 

Luther Cruz, 18, is facing charges for attempted murder, arson of an occupied structure, aggravated assault and felony endangerment, according to a news release from the Pinal County Sheriff's Office. 

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Pinal County deputies received a 911 call at 7:25 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 3, from the suspect's sister. 

She told authorities that her brother was trying to light a propane tank on fire inside their home. 

The operator could hear a struggle in the background, according to the news release. Deputies later learned that was family members trying to restrain Cruz from lighting the tank on fire. 

"We learned from family members that Luther [Cruz] was behaving erratically and at one point, brought a 20-gallon propane tank into the living room," Sheriff Paul Babeu said in the release. 

Cruz allegedly poured tequila over and around the tank, then went to the kitchen to get matches. 

His brother and father pushed him away from the tank, a violent struggle ensued and Cruz was restrained. 

The family members told deputies that Cruz has only recently showed signs of mental instability, and offered no explanation for his behavior. 

Cruz also allegedly admitted to deputies that he tried to light the tank on fire, with the hope that he would die in the fire.

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