| Crime |

Phoenix Homeless Man Actually Paid for Gasoline. Then Set House on Fire

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

One of the City of Phoenix's countless homeless men apparently doesn't have enough money for a house -- but he had enough money to buy gasoline so he could set one on fire.

According to court documents obtained by New Times, 62-year-old Frutoso Gallegos went to a gas station in the area of 912 East El Caminito Street in Phoenix yesterday afternoon.

He was seen on surveillance footage pumping gas into a gas can, paying for it, and leaving.

Shortly after leaving the gas station, Gallegos went to a house about two blocks away, where a woman in the area watched him use the gasoline, glass jars, and some rags to make three fire bombs.

According to the witness, Gallegos broke two windows in the house and threw two of the bombs inside.

Gallegos tried to throw the third bomb into the house but was "startled" by one of the occupants and dropped it -- and some of his homeless-guy gear, including a black wig -- on the ground before running off.

Police responded to the scene and found the house on fire. They also found Gallegos' wig, one-third of a gallon of gasoline in a plastic jug, some newspapers, and a bag of food items laying on the ground near the burning house.

Gallegos was seen leaving the scene and was arrested. He was identified in a photo lineup by the witness as the man who threw the bombs into the house.

As a result of the fire, an elderly woman, who was in the house at the time, needed to be taken to a hospital and treated for smoke-inhalation injuries.

It's unclear what prompted Gallegos to set the house on fire -- or why he had a black wig. He's been charged with one count of arson of an occupied structure.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.