He was acting suspiciously, a neighbor told police.
And then the neighbor saw the door of the apartment next to him on fire.
So the neighbor chased down the man and held him for police. His reward: a bite to the rib cage, police said.
The man who inflicted the wound, identified by police as Luis Menendez, is now being charged with attempted murder, arson and battery, records show.
According to police, the incident happened just after 1 a.m. Monday at an apartment in the 1500 block of Northwest 15th Street in Allapattah.
The neighbor told police he was smoking a cigarette outside his front door when he spotted Menendez “acting very suspicious,” a officer wrote in the arrest report.
The neighbor went back inside, but then heard something. He opened his door and “noticed his neighbor’s front door was engulfed in flames along with the front carpet,” the officer said in the report.
The neighbor was able to move the carpet to prevent the fire from spreading more, police said.
Meanwhile, Menendez took off, police said. The neighbor was able to tackle Menendez and hold him for police, but Menendez bit him and left a “bite mark on his rib cage,” according to the report.
Police said one occupant of the apartment was at work at the time of the incident and received an alert on her cellphone that the fire alarm and motion sensor to the front door was set off.
When she arrived, police detectives were able to review surveillance footage and saw Menendez “pouring gasoline and igniting it,” according to the report.
Police later learned that a woman and her two granddaughters were asleep inside.
“The front door is the only entry and exit to the location,” the officer said. “The fire would have prevented the victims to safely exit the apartment in case of an emergency.”
Menendez was being held Monday at Miami-Dade’s Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center with no bond.