Storm Lake Man Arrested For Attempting To Start Fires At Movie Theater And In Movie Aisle At Walmart

A Storm Lake man has been arrested after attempting to light the screen and some seats in a movie theater complex on fire Saturday night. The Storm Lake Police Department was called to the Vista 3 Theater at approximately 9:59 p.m. Theater staff reported the man allegedly poured diesel fuel additive on the screen and a seat then attempted to light them between movie showings. There was no one else present in the theater at that time, but other patrons were in other theaters within the complex. As they were investigating that scene, a call was received from Walmart that a customer was in the movie aisle attempting to start paper towel rolls on fire. Police located 21-year-old Alejandro Vargas Lopez, and as they attempted to take him into custody, he spit in the face of the arresting officer. He was subdued and secured in a vehicle. Police allege Vargas Lopez had constructed a makeshift Molotov cocktail using a piece of children’s clothing and a bottle of alcohol. He ignited this and then opened a roll of paper towels and tried to light them on fire as well. The fire was extinguished before police arrived. Police also allege Vargas Lopez said he believed that movies are ruining the world. He has been charged with two counts of first-degree arson, class B felonies, second-degree criminal mischief, a class D felony, assault on a peace officer, a serious misdemeanor, and two counts of fifth-degree theft and fifth-degree criminal mischief, all simple misdemeanors. He was booked into the Buena Vista County jail on a $56,900 cash bond. There was an estimated $5,500 in damage at the theater and only about $30 in damage at Walmart. The diesel additive was stolen earlier in the evening from a hardware store in Storm Lake.