A Rio Rancho man allegedly set an Albuquerque Public Schools vehicle on fire and tried to torch two others Monday night outside the district’s main office.
Ruben Davis, 40, is charged with three counts of arson and has been booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center.
It is unclear if he has an attorney.
Around 11:45 p.m., Davis went to the employee parking lot at the APS main office in Uptown, according to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court.
APS spokeswoman Monica Armenta said Davis set one of the cars on fire, and it was later extinguished. She said campus security intervened as he was attempting to set the other two cars on fire.
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Armenta said there was no estimate of damage.
Police said Davis told them he went to the parking lot with the intention of lighting the cars on fire to “draw attention to himself” because he needed help.
Davis said he used a cut-up shirt to set the cars on fire by shoving the cloth pieces down the gas spout and lighting them.
Court records show that, since 2001, Davis has been arrested on child abuse, auto theft, armed robbery, drug trafficking and other charges — serving time in prison in some cases.
Most recently, Davis was sentenced to 18 months behind bars in 2019 after throwing a bowl of hot liquid on a corrections officer at the Santa Fe jail.
In October 2020, according to court records, Davis wrote a letter requesting an earlier release, saying “I’ve been on my best behavior — working on my anger and lack of respect for authority.”
“I can’t say that I’ve learned my lesson… I still have issues with how I am going to conduct myself out in society and that’s a bridge I’ll have to cross later,” Davis wrote in the letter. “… I’m getting too old to be acting like a disobedient child.”
It’s unclear if Davis was given an early release.