Crime

He tried setting 2 Hulen Mall department stores on fire. Now he faces 20 years in prison

Woman captures dramatic fire at Hulen Mall

A Fort Worth woman who said she was in the Sears store Friday shared a video she shot with the Star-Telegram showing flames shooting up from the floor and a store employee using a fire extinguisher to douse them.
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A Fort Worth woman who said she was in the Sears store Friday shared a video she shot with the Star-Telegram showing flames shooting up from the floor and a store employee using a fire extinguisher to douse them.

A man who tried setting two Fort Worth department stores on fire pleaded guilty to arson on Wednesday.

Craig Michael Tezeno, 46, of Fort Worth now faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. He will remain jailed until his sentencing hearing, according to a release from U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox.

Tezeno went into the Dillard’s store inside the Hulen Mall on May 11 with a glass bottle filled with gasoline and topped with a rag. While in the store, Nealy Cox said Tezeno lit the rag and placed the bottle on the floor. Soon after, he did the same thing with a second Molotov cocktail at the Sears in the mall.

Nealy Cox said Tezeno hoped both devices would set the stores on fire.

A week later, he returned to the Sears, lit a third Molotov cocktail and again placed it on the floor, Nealy Cox said.

No one was injured in the attempted attacks, and employees were able to extinguish the devices.

Tezeno was arrested May 18 at Hulen Mall after maintenance workers pointed him out to officers and told police he looked like the person who set fires in the mall May 11.

Tezeno was sitting on a bench near the Dillard’s store and was found to have a loaded pistol when officers searched him.

Nichole Manna, 817-390-7684, @NicholeManna
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