A 25-year-old Los Angeles man was charged with arson on Tuesday, Dec. 11 after lighting up a flare inside a Santa Monica police car while he was handcuffed and being transported to jail for resisting police officers after failing to stop for a red light.
At 2:40 p.m. officers of the Santa Monica Police Department who had been assigned to the Transit Services Unit were on routine patrol monitoring bus routes for the Big Blue Bus Company in downtown Los Angeles when they observed a man riding a bicycle northbound on Temple Street.
This cyclist was approaching Spring Street and as he was riding his bike he was also drinking from a can of beer.
On top of this obvious offense the man also failed to stop for a red traffic light at the intersection.
When the man noticed the officers were in front of him, he immediately threw the beer can into the middle of the street.
The cyclist approached the officers and as he did so they ordered him to stop, but instead of heeding to the command this man stood up on the pedals of the bicycle in order to accelerate and try to escape by pedalling as fast as he could westbound on Spring Street.
The officers passed by this man and grabbed him as he tried to ride past them.
The man was then placed into the back seat of the police car.
As the officers were driving this man to the Santa Monica Jail he attempted to slip his handcuffed hands from behind the back to the front of his body and then he began to strike the rear passenger window of the vehicle in an attempt to break the glass.
The man failed in his endeavors and settled down as the vehicle moved along the I-10 Freeway.
A few minutes later this man managed to reach under the plexi-glass divider that separated the officers and the prisoner and the officers noticed that he had retrieved a road flare that had been stored there.
This man then lit the flare and began to burn through the plexi-glass divider.
The officers brought the vehicle to a halt on the freeway and took the flare away from this man without further ado.
The officers then re-handcuffed him with his hands securely positioned behind his back and continued their journey to the Santa Monica Jail, whereupon this LA man was charged with arson, resisting police officers, and failing to stop for a red light.
Bail was set at $50,000.
Editor’s Note: These reports are part of a regular police coverage series entitled “Alert Police Blotter” (APB), which injects some minor editorial into certain police activities in Santa Monica. Not all of the Mirror’s coverage of incidents involving police are portrayed in this manner. More serious crimes and police-related activities are regularly reported without editorial in the pages of the Santa Monica Mirror and its website, smmirror.com.