A transient accused of trying to set a Moreno Valley store clerk aflame when the man attempted to stop the defendant from fleeing with stolen groceries was charged Tuesday with attempted murder and other offenses.
Raul Genaro Bautista, 31, was arrested Thursday after the alleged attack in the 24500 block of Alessandro Boulevard, near Indian Street.
Along with attempted murder, Bautista is charged with robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and attempted arson.
He’s being held on $1 million bail at the Robert Presley Jail and was slated to make his initial court appearance Tuesday afternoon at the Riverside Hall of Justice.
According to Sgt. Marcos Acosta of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, Bautista grabbed multiple items from the shelves of the supermarket at about 11:40 a.m. Thursday, piling them into a shopping cart and heading for the exit without paying.
A clerk witnessed the alleged theft and confronted Bautista on his 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 was unsuccessful, and the clerk was not injured.
Acosta said the defendant abandoned the cart and fled into a residential area. Patrol deputies reached the location within a few minutes, deploying a K-9 team to scour the neighborhood.
The bloodhound picked up Bautista’s trail a few hours later, guiding deputies to a space on Alessandro, where he was taken into custody without incident, according to the sergeant.
According to court records, the defendant has several prior misdemeanor convictions for domestic violence.