Arson suspect's mom claims son was with her at time of fire

Alfred ‘Freddy' Mendoza, 37, charged with ‘reckless arson'

SAN ANTONIO – The mother of arson suspect Alfred "Freddy" Mendoza said her son was with her at the time when she believes a fire started in their Southeast Bexar County neighborhood, destroying a vacant mobile home and damaging another one where a family lives.

Elvira Mendoza's 37-year-old son was arrested by members of the Bexar County Fire Marshal's Office on Wednesday at her home near Elmendorf.

An arrest warrant affidavit stated that three witnesses reported seeing Freddy Mendoza in a field that his family owns in the 19000 block of La Gloria Road.

They told investigators that he was burning brush, the affidavit stated.

The suspect, however, denied the claims, telling investigators he hadn't burned any brush in about two months, the affidavit stated.

Elvira Mendoza said she remembers that on the day of the fire, her son had taken her out to run errands.

"In the morning, no, we weren't here," she said. "He was with me. We were together. He takes me here and there."

The affidavit stated that firefighters were called to the area shortly before 4 p.m. on Aug. 18.

Mendoza, who had returned home by then, said firefighters told her that the fire had been burning for several hours, and appeared to have started in the morning.

She said the only thing her son did was try to help.

"My son and my other friend that lives in the trailer were trying to put it out," she said.

In the affidavit, investigators said they have three written statements from witnesses who claim that Freddy Mendoza is to blame.

After his arrest, he was booked into the Bexar County jail with bond set at $15,000.