Indian River County man arrested after deputies say he lit woman on fire

A Vero Beach man is facing multiple charges after his roommate claimed he set her on fire.

Indian River County law enforcement responded Friday to a call involving a woman who claimed she had been beaten and burned repeatedly by her roommate.

The victim said John Alexander Rodriguez Cardenas, 30, tied her to a chair, doused her with rubbing alcohol and lit her on fire five to six times. The victim said he also punched and choked her. She managed to escape.

According to the arrest affidavit, the victim’s mouth was covered with red tape and she was bound to a chair while Cardenas repeatedly doused her with an accelerant and attempted to set her on fire. A witness, identified as Cardenas’ live-in girlfriend, corroborated the victim’s statement.

Indian River County Sheriff Eric Flowers said SWAT took Cardenas into custody at 6:56 p.m. Friday, from a residence at 2526 Sixth Avenue. They also found Cardenas in violation of a Risk Protection Order, as a bag full of shotgun shells and rifle ammunition rounds were discovered. No weapons were found.

Cardenas is charged with attempted murder, kidnapping and false imprisonment.

The victim was taken to Indian River Cleveland Clinic on Friday where she was treated for injuries sustained during the altercation, according to the affidavit.

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