Police: Two arrested in Brownwood for unrelated weekend incidents of arson, assault

Steve Nash
Brownwood Bulletin

Brownwood police released reports Monday of unrelated weekend cases involving arson and assault.

Joe Richard Cadena Jr.

Joe Cadena Jr.

Joe Cadena Jr., 51, remained in the Brown County Jail on Monday, Feb. 8, 2021 on an arson charge, jail records state. Cadena's bond was set at $75,000.

According to an email from Brownwood police:

At 12:20 a.m. Sunday, officers were dispatched to the 1100 block of San Benito on a domestic disturbance call.

Upon arrival, Sgt. Art Shannon spoke with a homeowner in his front yard. The homeowner said he was awakened by a loud banging coming from his son’s room. The homeowner entered the hallway and smelled smoke inside the house. He also observed thick smoke floating in the hallway.

Police said the homeowner yelled for his son, wanting to know what was on fire and the son replied, “You, I’m burning you!” The homeowner went outside and phoned 9-1-1. 

Shannon and other officers approached the front door, a man exited the front door, holding a large hunting/survival knife, police said. The man was disarmed and placed in handcuffs.

Officers also located on the man a used glass tube consistent with being used as a smoking pipe. The man appeared to be under the influence of methamphetamine, police said.

Brownwood firefighters entered the residence and observed several boxes of clothing and cloth material smoldering. No active flames were visible. The items were removed, and the home made safe for investigation.

Mustafe Thaqi

Mustafe Thaqi

Mustafe Thaqi, 46, of Brownwood is free on bonds totaling $100,000 following his arrest Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021 on two charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, jail records state.

According to an email from Brownwood police:

At 11:35 p.m. Saturday, a 9-1-1 caller said he was being shot at while driving a pickup with a friend as a passenger.

Officers began traveling in the direction of the Brownwood Middle School to locate the caller and suspect. The caller updated dispatchers on their location as they continued toward the Brownwood Police Department.

While on the phone, the caller said the driver of the suspect's pickup was still shooting at them.

In the 2800 block of US Highway 377 South, officer Kris Salazar saw the vehicles traveling north at a high rate of speed. Salazar made a traffic stop on the suspect vehicle and detained the driver.  A 9 mm pistol was located on the vehicle's front seat.

Two adult male victims were identified in the victim's vehicle. They were interviewed, and several bullet holes were observed on their pickup. 

At the conclusion of the investigation, Thaqi was arrested and transported to the Brown County Jail without further incident.