Jacob Lagarde, a 27-year-old Long Beach resident with an extensive criminal record, has been arrested in the investigation of a man who set on fire by a Molotov cocktail outside a market last week. Surveillance video of the attack led to a break in the case, police say, adding that they are still looking for additional witnesses. Conan Nolan reports from Long Beach for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Oct. 24, 2012.
Long Beach police have made an arrest in the investigation of a man who was set on fire by a Molotov cocktail outside a market last week.
At a news conference on Wednesday, authorities announced they have arrested Jacob Lagarde, a 27-year-old Long Beach resident with an extensive criminal record.
Lagarde, who was said to be a member of a non-Long Beach gang, was arrested Tuesday night. Authorities said they would not release a booking photo while the investigation continued.
Lagarde was held on suspicion of attempted murder, mayhem, possession of an explosive, arson causing bodily harm, and probation violation. It was an apparently unprovoked attack, police said.
"We’re looking for a motive," said Deputy Chief Robert Luna of the Long Beach Police Department. "Hopefully these witnesses that were asking to come forward will help us put the pieces of the puzzle together."
A man in his 50s was sitting outside a market on Friday night when another man threw a flaming bottle at him, leaving the victim with serious burns on the lower part of his body, his hands and face.
Surveillance video showed the victim running through the market's parking lot aflame, then other patrons of the market helping put out the fire.
The man who threw the fiery weapon had come from an alley with a lighted bottle in hand, police said. A person with a baby carriage was standing just feet away, the video showed.
A witness said the man who threw the bottle was laughing.
The incident happened in front of El Paisano Ranch Market in the 200 block of West Pacific Coast Highway.
The unidentified victim was in his 50s; the man who threw the firebomb was said to be in his late 20s.
Eaton said the victim is "progressing" and is in critical but stable condition.
Police said they were still looking for additional witnesses.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story said Lagarde had been charged with the crimes listed. In fact, he was held on suspicion of those crimes, but was not charged till Thursday, the day after police announced his arrest.