Central Islip man accused of arson, animal cruelty
A Central Islip man was arrested Saturday after setting his landlord's house on fire, cutting off a snake's head and breaking into a house, police say.
Authorities say 45-year-old Jose Rios started a fire at his landlord's home on Branch Avenue after pouring gasoline on the floor. According to police, Rios also chopped off the head of his 2-foot pet boa constrictor and left it by his landlord's bedroom door.
"There was clearly some bad feeling between himself and the landlord," says Detective Sgt. William Rand, of the Suffolk County Police Department. "I think that's what started the incident."
Rand says the landlord and his wife got out of the house safely thanks to Rios' warning. After Rios left the house, police say, he broke into his sister's home armed with a knife.
Rios was taken into police custody at around 1:30 a.m. and charged with animal cruelty, arson and burglary.