Florida Cancer Victim Charged With Trying to Blow Up House Which Was in Foreclosure


Palm Springs cancer victim charged with trying to blow up house

A 55-year-old Palm Springs man with cancer was arrested Friday and charged with trying to blow up his home, which was in foreclosure.

Tony Garcia Sr. hobbled into court on Saturday morning using a walker and said little in response to questions by County Judge Barry Cohen.

According to a four-page, single-spaced police report:

Firefighters and police saw a large plume of smoke and flames coming from a window in the 300 block of Osbourne Drive, west of Congress Avenue, when they arrived just before 10:30 a.m. June 28. The kitchen and several other rooms were burning but no one was in the house, according to the report.

Firefighters found a 20-pound liquid propane tanking leaking gas in the living room. Also inside the house investigators found several small gas camping cylinders on the kitchen counter-tops, floor, stove and toaster oven. Similar canisters were found throughout the house.

Laminate from the kitchen counter-tops had been removed, exposing the wood. A melted bottle of lighter fluid and a candle with melted wax were found on the stripped counter-tops.

Garcia was found later that day at a nearby bar. When asked about the fire and the propane tank, Garcia said he “used to own a gas grill and forgot the about the gas cylinder in the living room.” He denied there were any problems with the valve on the tank and that it was not open when he left earlier in the morning.

When investigators asked why there were gas cylinders in the kitchen, the toaster oven and throughout the house, Garcia told the investigator that “he leaves things lying around and since he lives alone, he doesn’t care where these items are left.”

The arrest affidavit also included comments from a Palm Springs police officer, who said Garcia had made prior threats to harm police and firefighters and that Garcia’s address was flagged in their computer system as a “dangerous location.”

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