Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
MAN SENTENCED FOR SETTING BOSS’ BOAT ON FIRE AFTER BECOMING ANGRY OVER BEING FIRED
FULLERTON – A 38-year-old man was convicted today of committing arson by setting a boat on fire after being fired by his boss. Jose Asencion Castro, Anaheim, pleaded guilty to one felony count of arson of another’s property with a sentencing enhancement for arson with an accelerant. He was sentenced to 270 days in jail and three years of formal probation.
Castro worked in the victim’s electronic store for 14 years. In January 2010, Castro slashed his boss’ tires after the victim refused to hire someone the defendant recommended for a job. As a result, the victim fired Castro.
At approximately 10:00 a.m. on March 12, 2010, Castro drove to and parked outside of his former employer’s house because he was angry that the victim had fired him. The defendant approached a boat, which was parked in the driveway, and slashed the two tires on the right side of the boat trailer. Castro then poured gasoline on the slashed tires and set them on fire, causing the boat’s cover to also ignite. The defendant fled the scene in his car.
Two construction workers noticed the fire and used the victim’s hose to put it out. A neighbor called the fire department. A video surveillance camera at the victim’s home captured Castro approaching and leaving the scene.
Deputy District Attorney Israel Claustro of the Special Prosecutions Unit prosecuted this case.