Fort Worth

Man Charged With Igniting Fire in Fort Worth Hotel, Burning Clerk

A tip helped police track down the suspect, investigators say

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A 48-year-old man is behind bars and accused of setting a Fort Worth hotel clerk on fire after video of the crime helped lead to his arrest, police say.

David Sarkisian, 48, is held in the Tarrant County jail on a first-degree felony charge of arson of a habitation causing bodily injury, according to a police news release. Bond is set at $100,000.

Surveillance video captured Sunday night from inside the Budget Host Inn on the 3700 block of Tanacross Drive shows a man threatening the front desk clerk to give him cash or be burned alive, police said. The man then squirts a liquid through a small hole in the office's protective class, covering the front desk, floor and splashing the clerk.

Moments later, after the clerk picked up the telephone, the man then used a cigarette lighter to ignite the liquid which quickly spread and burned the clerk as he backed away from the desk. The clerk's injuries were not life-threatening.

Fort Worth arson investigators received a tip on the suspect's identity after they released video and pictures of the incident and the vehicle sought in the case.

VIDEO DISCLAIMER: Some parts of this video may be hard to watch. The Fort Worth Fire Department is looking for the man who walked into a hotel lobby and set the clerk on fire.

"This was a disturbing case of unacceptable violence and thanks to the cooperation and teamwork of the media and the public, Fort Worth is now safer today," Fort Worth Chief of Police James Davis said in a statement.

Investigators noted Sarkisian could face additional charges of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon, burglary of a motor vehicle and theft.

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