Cops: Sex offender set fire to trailer of same-sex couple

Braulio Valenzuela-Villanueva, 73, allegedly tried to burn down his neighbors' trailer because they were lesbians.

CBS Miami

MIAMI, Fla. - Braulio Valenzuela-Villanueva, a 73-year-old registered sex offender, is now facing charges of attempted second-degree murder, arson, and committing a hate crime for allegedly trying to burn down a trailer with two women and eight children inside, reports CBS Miami. Police said Braulio Valenzuela-Villanueva targeted the home because the women were same-sex couple.

The incident took place around 4:25 a.m. Saturday at the River Park Trailer Park in Miami.

Miami-Dade police said surveillance video captured Valenzuela-Villanueva entering the lot where the trailer was located and setting fire to a mattress that was leaning against the wall of the home before hurrying back to his own residence, according to the station.

CBS Miami reports that, after being read his rights, the suspect denied setting the fire but said he "despised the two adult victims for the simple fact that they were lesbians," according to the arrest report.

Police said there were no smoke detectors inside the trailer, and that the women and children escaped only after being awakened by a screaming neighbor who saw the blaze, reports CBS Miami.

The suspect "casually began observing the fire.... One of his neighbors had to compel him to assist bringing a garden hose" to fight the flames, police said.

Miami-Dade Firefighters arrived to extinguish the fire, the station reports. Police said the trailer sustained "considerable damage."

According to CBS Miami, several neighbors identified Valenzuela-Villanueva in the surveillance footage.

"Every time he saw [the female victims] kissing, he felt a deep repugnance and in his opinion they did not deserve to have children," the arrest report states.

Valenzuela-Villanueva is currently jailed on $230,000 bail.