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'We're very concerned about our safety' | East San Antonio arson suspect indicted by grand jury

One woman, who said she fled from her nearby home with two children in tow, said she is anxious for the case to move forward.

SAN ANTONIO — An east San Antonio arson suspect has now been indicted by a grand jury, but his attorney has filed motions to get the case tossed.

37-year-old Cruz Rivas is accused of setting fire to a home on East Crockett back in May.

The fire roared through the building, causing structural collapses that led to the charred remains being demolished and cleared away.

Rivas was arrested in June, but now court records indicate his attorney has filed motions alleging an illegal arrest.

The attorney is also asking to suppress evidence and reduce the felony charge to a misdemeanor.

At the time, neighbor Joseph Garcia, who lives across the street, said “It's very scary to all of us in the neighborhood!”

When the 3,000 square foot, 80-year-old home was consumed by fire on May 6, Garcia and his neighbors hoped for fast relief from fear.

One woman, who said she fled from her nearby home with two children in tow, said she is anxious for the case to move forward.

Garcia added “We're very concerned about our safety, the safety of our loved ones and even the safety of our pets.

Now, four months later, the remains of the historic old home are gone and neighbors are still watching the wheels of justice turn ever so slowly after a series of fires lit up the area earlier this year.

A number of small fires at the abandoned Friedrich complex on East Commerce in March led to the arrest of one woman in April, but by July, that case had been dismissed for insufficient evidence.

At a neighborhood meeting about fighting crime, Garcia said, "Now you let somebody go for insufficient evidence and now, once again, what do we believe? Once again we feel like there's no transparency and once again I really feel you don't care about the east side."

Arson investigators have been busy on the east side this year, responding in force to numerous devastating fires that destroyed both new construction sites and older homes under renovation.

With regard to the investigation, the fire department said they cannot comment on a pending case.

Meanwhile, Rivas remains jailed on a $75,000 bond on the arson charge.

Rivas was already out of jail on a burglary charge when investigators said they had enough evidence to pursue an arson case.

Rivas is waiting to learn when his next court setting will be.

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