Man faces arson charge in school break-in

HARLINGEN — The man who police say broke into an elementary school and set fire to the teacher’s lounge has been arraigned on several charges.

Carlos Javier Sifuentes, 35, of Harlingen, was arraigned yesterday on arson of a building, burglary of a building and evading arrest.

All three charges are state jail felonies

His bond was set at $30,000.

Police said it was unclear what his motive was for breaking into the school and setting the fire.

At approximately 11:40 p.m. Sunday night, the alarm at Austin Elementary School located in the 700 block of East Austin Street was activated.

Police say when they arrived, they discovered the glass doors on the west side of the building had been shattered.

As officers approached, a man later identified as Sifuentes ran out of the school holding a hammer, police said.

Police said Sifuentes ran southbound while being pursued by officers. He was caught minutes later about two blocks from the school.

Investigators say he broke the glass door with a wooden barricade and caused thousands of dollars in damage to vending machines and other school property and set a fire in the teacher’s lounge area.

Harlingen firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the blaze, which caused minimal damage.

He is still in jail at this time.