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Man found guilty of assault, arson and kidnapping USPS employee

August 8, 2022


A man was convicted Thursday on multiple charges including assault with a deadly weapon, arson and kidnapping of a USPS employee, announced Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer.

Erick Torres was found guilty in an incident on January 12, 2021. Around 11 a.m. Torres broke into the backyard of a home and threw two Molotov cocktails filled with gasoline through a bedroom window with two people inside of a home, causing a fire to ignite, said Zimmer. Arson investigators determined that the Molotov cocktails ignited surrounding materials and caused moderate fire damage to the home as well as damage to furniture inside the home.

Torres fled the scene in a vehicle that was found abandoned and doused in gasoline at an intersection close to the victim’s home, said a news release from the DA’s Office.

Shortly later, Torres, now on foot, aggressively approached a United States Postal Service employee that was delivering mail in his mail truck.

Torres had a metal bar in hand and demanded the driver with the following: “Give me a ride or you are going to die.” The postal worker agreed and drove Torres away.

A witness who saw the incident caught up to the mail truck and intervened. Torres demanded the postal worker to stop, and he fled on foot.

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