Police: Lufkin laundromat arson suspect threatens jailer with pencil

Adan Cordero (Source: Lufkin Police Department and Angelina County Jail)
Adan Cordero (Source: Lufkin Police Department and Angelina County Jail)
Francisco Cordero (Angelina County Jail)
Francisco Cordero (Angelina County Jail)
Luis Alberto Ramirez
Luis Alberto Ramirez

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A 17-year-old Lufkin man who matches the description of one of the four suspects who broke into the R&R Washateria on Jan. 12 and tried to set it on fire, allegedly tried to escape from a juvenile detention center by assaulting a detention officer and threatening him with a pencil.

Adan Cordero, 19, is still being held in the Angelina County Jail on a first-degree felony charge of escape causing serious bodily injury/threat of deadly weapon and a second-degree felony juvenile hold charge of arson. No bond has been set at this time.

The suspect, who turned 17 earlier this month, was being held on an arson charge in the Lufkin Juvenile Detention Facility located at 705 Ellen Trout Drive, when he made his alleged escape attempt at about 8:43 p.m. Thursday. According to the arrest affidavit, Adan Cordero assaulted a detention officer and threatened him by placing a pencil near the man's throat.

However, Adan Cordero's escape was short-lived. He was stopped at the facility's back door and taken back into custody.

Mark Gorman, the director of Lufkin's JDC said because of the seriousness of the crime Adan Cordero committed during his escape attempt and the fact that he recently turned 17, law enforcement officials transferred him to the Angelina County Jail. Gorman would not confirm whether or not Adan Cordero was one of the juveniles arrested in connection to the arson attempt, but he clearly appears to be one of the men on the surveillance video.

After the Lufkin Police Department released the surveillance video, numerous people called in Crime Stoppers tips. All four suspects - two adults and two juveniles - were identified and taken into custody.

LPD officers arrested Francisco Cordero, 19, and Luis Alberto Ramirez, 20, and charged them with arson, which is a second-degree felony on Jan. 15. Their bond was set at $20,000, and Ramirez was released later that day. Francisco Cordero still remains in the Angelina County Jail.

Ramirez was again booked into the Angelina County Jail on a state-jail felony burglary of a building warrant issued by the Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace office on Jan .17. He posted a $7,500 bond and was released later that day.

According to the arrest affidavit, the alleged burglary of a building occurred at the Kwick Korner Shell convenience store located at 203 S. Timberland. LPD investigators obtained a surveillance video from the store that showed two men running up to the store from the south parking lot. One of the men broke the glass in the door, and the two men entered the store. They allegedly began to steal Kool, Newport, and Camel cigarettes and fled the scene.

The affidavit stated that while the detective was interviewing Ramirez about the attempted arson at the R&R Washateria when he admitted to being a lookout for the two suspects who burglarized the Kwick Korner Shell store. The two male subjects turned out to be juveniles.

When the LPD detective located one of the juvenile suspects, the young man admitted to breaking the glass in the door and stealing the cigarettes along with the other juvenile, the affidavit stated. The young man confirmed that Ramirez had acted as their lookout, and the detective allegedly found him with a backpack that contained "numerous packs of unopened Kool, Newport, and Camel cigarettes.

Surveillance video shows four men, including a man in a white long-sleeved shirt that appears to be Adan Cordero, inside the R&R Washateria, located at 1318 Paul Ave. on Jan. 12. It shows them trying to break into a vending machine, slamming laundry machine doors, and attempting to start fires. One of them later tries to kick down a window but is unsuccessful after several attempts. He then tries to break it with a chair but is still unsuccessful. Finally, someone managed to break it from the outside.

At one point, the individual that looks like Adan Cordero sees the surveillance camera and squirts lighter fluid on it. A different clip shows the man that looks like Adan Cordero and another of the men trying to start a fire. First, they spray lighter fluid by a door and throw a match on it. But the fire only burns the fluid and goes out on the concrete floor. They then try to light a match and drop it on the ground and spray fluid on it. However, the fluid only extinguishes the match.

The men finally manage to start a fire in the corner of one room and leave. About an hour later, a firefighter in the area sees the smoke and goes in and extinguishes it before it can spread.

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