Parents Arrested for Lighting Homeless Man on Fire as Their Kids Watched

A New Mexico couple has been arrested after allegedly throwing fireworks at a homeless man while he slept. The incident occurred in front of 21-year old Joshua Benavidez and Irene Enriquez’s three children, while the family was driving around Albuquerque, NBC News reported.

Apparently the parents thought it would be funny to throw the lit explosives at the sleeping man as “a prank.”

The unidentified victim’s pants caught fire and sustained injuries from the attack. According to the police report, the man had to be taken to the hospital and placed under intensive care.

Police received multiple tips that Benavidez and Enriquez were behind the attacks. The pair initially denied involvement when authorities first contacted them.

The pair told KOB News that they were trying to “rattle” and “startle” the man. They said they didn’t realize he had caught on fire until after the incident, which is what prompted them to finally turn themselves in.

“It was just a prank,” said Benavidez. “It was just trying to scare him, that was it.”

Both Benavidez and Enriquez have been charged with three counts of child abuse, two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, aggravated battery and tampering with evidence.

Both are being held on $100,000 bond, and it is unclear who is currently taking care of the three children.