Charges likely against man suspected of attempting to burn MoVal store worker

Felony charges are expected to be filed Tuesday against a passenger suspected of attempting to set fire to a store employee in the Moreno Valley.

Raul Genaro Bautista, 31, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of attempted murder, arson, possession of an incendiary device and robbery. Bautista is being held on $1 million bond at Robert Presley Jail in Riverside.

The case is being reviewed by the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office.

According to Sheriff Sgt. Marcos Acosta, at around 11:40 a.m. Thursday, Bautista allegedly grabbed several items from the shelves of a store on the 24500 block of Alessandro Boulevard near Indian Street, piled them into a shopping cart, then headed for the exit without paying .

A clerk witnessed the alleged theft and confronted Bautista on the way out, Acosta said.

“The suspect doused the employee with lighter fluid, retrieved a lighter and attempted to set the victim on fire,” Acosta said.

The attempt to set the man on fire failed and the clerk was not injured.

Acosta said the suspect abandoned the cart and fled into a residential area, where patrol deputies deployed a K-9 team to scour the neighborhood.

The sleuth tracked down the suspect a few hours later, guiding deputies to a space on Alessandro, where Bautista was taken into custody without incident, according to the sergeant.

No background information on the suspect was available.