SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A busboy, the second suspect in the Dupont Plaza Hotel fire, was arraigned today on a federal charge of conspiring with a maintenance man in the New Year's Eve arson blaze that killed 96 people.
Officials said Armando Jimenez Rivera, 28, a busboy at the hotel bar, was arrested Tuesday, the same day the maintenance man, 35-year-old Hector Escudero Aponte, was arraigned.
Escudero Aponte was charged with arson, destruction of property and 96 counts of murder. Jimenez Rivera was accused today of conspiring with him to destroy the hotel by fire.
The federal complaint against Jimenez Rivera said he went to the hotel penthouse to get a can of Sterno-type fuel and then stood with others in front of Escudero to block others' view so that Escudero could put the fuel on a stack of boxed furniture in the south ballroom area.
The complaint did not identify any other suspects but a federal investigator said a search is still on.