MIAMI (WSVN) - Police have made an arrest in connection to an arson attack at the Melreese Country Club.
Officers arrested 20-year-old Carlos Alberto Crespo, Wednesday.
Detectives said Crespo burned and destroyed almost 40 golf carts at the golf course. Employees even said they saw someone on surveillance putting towels between the golf carts before the fire broke out.
“He is responsible for the fire that caused over half a million dollars [in damage],” said Miami Police Cmdr. Freddie Cruz.
Police said Crespo’s mother helped turn him in after she identified him from the surveillance video footage.
“For someone to actually go out of their way to do this is unthinkable,” said golfer Terry Taft. “I question whether it’s a mental issue or there’s some type of grudge, which I can’t understand.”
The country club’s manager Charlie DeLucca believes Crespo has been to the course before and has tried to start fires in the past. He said when he saw the surveillance video, he was shocked to see Crespo back at the golf course.
“We could have lost our buildings,” said DeLucca. “If it wasn’t for the fast acting fire department, and the police were just as fast catching this guy. I’m so glad they got him.”
DeLucca held back tears as he dwelled on Crespo’s arrest.
“It’s very emotional. It’s my life here,” he said. “I’m so happy. The police did such a great job.”
The Melreese Country Club recently made headlines as it is the site of the David Beckham group’s proposed soccer stadium. Detectives are not sure if that was a motive behind the blaze, but they are investigating all leads.
“Our detectives are still working leads, trying to talk to him, see if maybe some of his friends and find out, again, what was his motive,” Cruz said.
Crespo has been charged with first-degree arson and burglary. However, additional charges may be added.
He has since been released on bond.
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