BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — As Buffalo Police and Arson detectives continue to investigate an attempted arson on Christmas Eve, the owner of the company which was targeted is hoping the public may help catch the person responsible.
“The hope for the video is to make sure we catch the bad guy,” said Christine Uwimbabazi, owner of Prime Care Transportation. She shared with News 4 surveillance video showing someone walking up with a bag and attempting, they believe to burn transportation vans. On a few occasions, you see the person rubbing something on the tires.
At the scene, they found gasoline-soaked rags and gasoline-soaked books near the wheels. “The main idea was to burn out all my vehicles. That’s how I see it,” said Uwimbabazi, who adds that she doesn’t know who would target the vehicles. “I don’t know, that’s why we’re getting police involved to see why someone can do that in the first place.”
The person came back twice on the evening of December 24, according to Uwimbabazi. “One of my drivers could have been burned in the vehicle, one of my clients could have been burned in the vehicle, so we’re talking about murder right now. He might be thinking he’s going to burn the vehicle but one of my drivers could’ve died.”
Uwimbabazi is a Rwandan refugee who started this business at Bailey and Lisbon Avenue in 2018. “So we want to make an impact on the east side and for a small business owner, women, minority, to start from scratch to be where we are right now, it’s something that we should be proud of but when we see somebody actually trying to kill what you’ve started. I just can’t understand how even somebody can do that.”
Anyone who has information about the person who appears to have attempted arson on Bailey and Lisbon on December 24, is asked to call the Buffalo Police confidential tip line at (716) 847-2255.
George Richert is an award-winning reporter who first joined the News 4 team in 1998, later returning in 2018. See more of his work here.