Bail was set at $50,500 for a 62-year-old homeless man on Friday, April 24, after lighting a white trash bag on fire near an apartment building.
Officers of the Santa Monica Police Department were called out to 724 Ocean Park Boulevard at 1:49 pm in order to investigate a report of arson.
The officers were given a description of the suspect as they were en route to the scene. When they were in the area they spotted the suspect in addition to several witnesses who had been following the suspect.
The officers detained the suspect and then the officers viewed some security video from the location that showed the suspect carrying a white trash bag that appeared to be full of trash.
The suspect was then seen to place the bag down in close proximity to an apartment building and place a gasoline container inside the white trash bag.
The video showed that as the suspect began to walk away from the location smoke began to emanate from the white trash bag, which then burst into flames.
A resident had extinguished the fire with a conveniently placed fire extinguisher.
Based upon the video evidence, as well as statements from witnesses, the officers arrested this 62-year-old homeless man and he was later charged with arson as well as numerous municipal code violations.
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.