San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

January 29th, 2015
Curbside car fire ends in San Marcos man’s arson arrest

COVER: A burning car caused a stir in the Rio Vista Terrace neighborhood Wednesday night as first responders worked to extinguish the blaze. The auto inferno churned out a towering column of brilliant pink smoke. PHOTO by DELEIGH HERMES.


A San Marcos man was arrested Wednesday night after allegedly setting fire to a car parked outside his family’s home in the 100 block of Riverside Drive.

Chance Bandy, 32, is charged with arson, a second-degree felony under state law when an intentionally ignited fire does not injury anyone and does not destroy a residence or church. He is being held in the Hays County jail as of midnight awaiting adjudication, law enforcement records state.

The fire was reported to police at 10:06 p.m. and the first units arrived on the scene in the Rio Vista Terrace neighborhood within three minutes, San Marcos police Sgt. Tommy Villanueva said.

The torched vehicle, a blue Kia passenger car, belonged either to Bandy or to a member of his family, Villanueva said. San Marcos firefighters extinguished the colorful blaze as neighbors watched from their yards.

Police turned the criminal case over to San Marcos Fire Marshal Ken Bell, whose office’s jurisdiction includes arsons committed within the city. (Technically, the state fire marshal has the sole authority to investigate all arson and suspected arson occurring anywhere in Texas’ 254 counties, but he delegates that authority to city fire marshals as a matter of routine.)


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