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October 26, 2007

One California Arsonist Killed, Another Arrested

Killed? Good.

Amid worries of new blazes adding to the firestorm already afflicting the region, a man in Hesperia has been arrested on suspicion of arson, and police reported shooting and killing another arson suspect after chasing him out of scrub behind Cal State San Bernardino.

Law enforcement officials said today that they didn't know whether either of the men had started any of the more than a dozen large fires that have devastated Southern California in recent days, including the nearby Lake Arrowhead blaze. The brush fire in Hesperia was quickly extinguished by residents.

Investigators have said that at least two of the huge wildfires, one in Orange County and the other in Temecula, were the work of arsonists.

The confrontation that ended in the shooting death started about 6 p.m. Tuesday when San Bernardino university police spotted a man in a rural area of flood channels and scrub near the campus. University police tried to detain the man, but he got into his car and fled, authorities said. When he began to ram officers' vehicle, they shot him.

The suspect is described as a 27-year-old man with a home address in Arizona. Sheriff's investigators will search his impounded pickup truck pending a search warrant, Lt. Scott Patterson of the San Bernardino Police Department said this afternoon.

No additional information, including his identity will be released until Thursday.

The names are now out. The dead one:

A California coroner has identified an Arizona man shot and killed by police who chased him because they thought he was a possible arsonist.

The San Bernardino County coroner says the man was 27-year-old Russell Lane Daves of Topock, a small town along the Arizona-Nevada border.

Daves was shot Tuesday night following a chase that ended when he backed his car into a police cruiser and an officer opened fire.

And the arrested one:

Another man was arrested on suspicion of arson in California as authorities were investigating into some of the wildfires that have been devastating large areas in the state for five days, officials said Thursday.

Los Angeles police said they have taken Catalino Pineda, 41, into custody Wednesday after local residents reported that he light a fire and walked away from a hillside in a suburb area.

Fire 'im up.


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posted by Ace at 12:37 PM

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