Motorcycle Arsonist Has History of Domestic Violence

News reports last week shot around the world — from the Chicago Tribune to MSNBC to El Mercurio of Santiago, Chile. A spurned boyfriend had plowed his motorcycle through the doorway of a Little Havana jewelry shop, barricaded himself inside, and stuffed a flaming rag into the gas tank. After a SWAT team arrived, he threatened to burn down the store and kill himself.

Poor dude.

What everybody seems to have missed, though, is that 39-year-old Jaime Tojeiro is a dirtbag. The guy has been accused of 12 felonies and a handful of other crimes in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Highlands counties. Three of the felonies involved beating up his exes. One of the women was pregnant.

Cuban-born Tojeiro was first busted in 1989 for grand theft and assaulting a cop. He got a year in jail. Once freed, he was accused of stealing a car and burglary. Those charges were dropped. Then he lost his driver's license.

In May 1995, cops nailed Tojeiro for wailing on an ex-girlfriend of six years who was also the mother of his two children. According to a police report, he "beat [her] about her face, mouth, and stomach with his fist" behind a medical building near the 27th Avenue Metrorail station. Then he took her purse with $300.

A year and a half later, while awaiting trial, he came home from his job managing a car wash. His then-girlfriend, who was pregnant, told him to shower before bed. Furious, he decided to leave. She wouldn't give up the car keys. He ripped the phone from the wall, put her in a chokehold, beat her bloody, and took the keys. Cops collared him the next day when he returned home. His new and improved jail term: seven years.

Details of last week's motorcycle madness at El Sol de Miami Joyería on SW Eighth Street at 34th Avenue are vague. Cops said only that the store belonged to his girlfriend.

Sebastian Arias, an employee of El Gallego Afilador next door, added, "I've heard them argue a lot before; it's nothing new. The wall between our stores is very thin."

Police also reported that after the tumultuous relationship ended, Tojeiro tried to light the jewelry shop on fire at 8:30 p.m. Sunday, July 12. The SWAT team convinced him to surrender. He now faces one count of attempted arson.

Maybe if Shannen Doherty had handled this breakup, the poor felon could have salvaged his reputation. Eh, probably not.

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Lisel Nicole Holzapfel