Man suspected of county vehicle arson pleads guilty

Posted: Updated:
Gustavo Hernandez By Jennifer Thomas Gustavo Hernandez By Jennifer Thomas
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

MESA, Ariz. -- A man accused of setting fire to three county vehicles has pleaded guilty to arson.

The vehicles, including a Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office SUV, an undercover vehicle and a utility truck, were found burning on Sept. 17 at the MCSO substation county repair shop, located northwest of Baseline Road and Mesa Drive.

Maricopa County sheriff’s deputies arrested Gustavo Hernandez on suspicion of the arson in September.
According to MCSO, after his arrest, Hernandez said he was on drugs for two months and wanted to kill himself. He broke into the vehicles to try to find a gun, but when he didn’t see one, he set the cars on fire, trying to blow himself up.

In May, Hernandez was arrested for a DUI warrant and in July for allegedly inhaling toxic vapors, Deputy Joaquin Enriquez said.

Hernandez’s sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 6.