December 8, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

OC Man Pleads Not Guilty to Arson of Santa Monica Police Car

Nathan Wilson, 27, pleads “not guilty” Monday to federal charges

By Sam Catanzaro

An Orange County man pleaded not guilty Monday to federal charges of setting a Santa Monica police car on fire during the civil unrest of May 31.

On Monday, November 2, 27-year-old Nathan Wilson of Irvine, pleaded not guilty to charges of malicious damage to property owned by an institution or organization receiving federal financial assistance.

Wilson was linked to the May 31 fire that destroyed the unmarked Santa Monica Police car when a witness told law enforcement they had driven Wilson to Santa Monica on that day and they believed he had set fire to a police car.

Publicly available social media posts show that the person who set fire to the police car parked at the loading dock of the Santa Monic Civic Center was wearing certain clothing and accessories, had an American flag bandana over his face, and had a distinctive tattoo of a rifle on his left arm, according to an affidavit filed with the complaint. The witness directed authorities to one of Wilson’s social media accounts – an Instagram account under the handle “yup_i_eat_crayons” – where Wilson had posted a “selfie” taken in Santa Monica on May 31. In his Instagram selfie, Wilson appeared exactly like the person seen in other social media posts who stoked the fire that destroyed the police car, the affidavit alleges.

Nathan Wilson. Photo: FBI.

In early June, the FBI and the Santa Monica Police Department issued a wanted poster for the person later identified as Wilson. After receiving tips and conducting investigations, law enforcement was not able to identify the perpetrator who caused the fire that destroyed the police car.

That changed when Wilson became a suspect in a September 28 vehicle arson that occurred in Irvine, according to the affidavit. Following a domestic dispute that culminated with a fire in a vehicle owned by Wilson’s live-in partner, authorities obtained information that linked Wilson to the May 31 fire in Santa Monica.

Wilson was taken into custody on October 9 when Santa Monica Police officers, in conjunction with the Irvine Police Department and the FBI, executed a search warrant at the Irvine residence and found Wilson hiding in a mattress box spring in the bedroom. During that search, authorities recovered items of clothing that appear to be the same seen on Wilson in the various photos taken near the destroyed police car.

After Wilson was taken into custody by Santa Monica Police officers, the federal criminal complaint was signed by a United States magistrate judge late on October 9.

If convicted of the malicious damage offense alleged in the complaint, Wilson would face a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison and a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years.

in News
Related Posts

SMC Once Again Leads in Transfers to University of California, Maintaining a 31-Year Record

December 7, 2021

December 7, 2021

College also tops in transfers to USC & Loyola Marymount University By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica College (SMC), for the...

Santa Monica’s Nativity Scenes Returns

December 7, 2021

December 7, 2021

December 11-15 at 1502 20th Street By Dolores Quintana  The Calvary Baptist Church, located at 1502 20th Street,  will again...

Activists Respond to Potential Tree Removal at Palisades Recreation Center.

December 7, 2021

December 7, 2021

Resilient Palisades president comments on the potential removal of two mature eucalyptus trees from the Palisades Recreation Center. Video brought...

LA City Clerk Confirms Bonin Recall Petition Headed to Verification Stage

December 6, 2021

December 6, 2021

City Clerk has until January 2, 2022 to verify signatures  By Sam Catanzaro The Los Angeles City Clerk has confirmed...

Santa Monica Rents Dip For The First Time This Year: Santa Monica Beat – December 6, 2021

December 6, 2021

December 6, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes.* Mount Olive Church Pastor Retires* Santa Monica Rents Dip For The First...

Social Media Threats to Two Santa Monica High Schools Deemed Unfounded

December 6, 2021

December 6, 2021

SMPD has increased patrols “out of an abundance of caution” By Sam Catanzaro Officials say Santa Monica High School and...

Holiday Festivities at Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel

December 4, 2021

December 4, 2021

Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel brings the magic of the season to life with festivities for the entire family, from...

SMC’s “Broken Layers” Wins Best Student Film at The Emerging Filmmaker Showcase During the 2021 Cannes Film Festival

December 3, 2021

December 3, 2021

“Broken Layers”—a short film written and directed by Santa Monica College (SMC) film student Niccolo Rolim—has won “Best Student Film”...

Developer Donates $1 Million to Support Housing Development at the West Los Angeles VA Campus

December 3, 2021

December 3, 2021

Pledge includes a $500,000 monetary donation and $500,000 in pro bono work By Staff Writer Hudson Pacific Properties, Inc. has...

Santa Monica Police Make Narcotics and Weapons Arrest Following Collision

December 2, 2021

December 2, 2021

One suspect remains at large following November 28 incident By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica police recently arrested a man on...

Private Santa Monica Security Guard Thwarts Potential Flash Mob Robbery

December 2, 2021

December 2, 2021

SMPD on the alert after flash mob robberies hit Los Angeles By Dolores Quintana In response to the so called...

Pico Branch Library Reopens Today

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

Library reopens for in-person services and more By Sam Catanzaro The Santa Monica Public Library’s Pico Branch reopens today for...

Two Santa Monica Public Gigs for Local Group the Off Jingle Bell Rockers

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

December 4 and 12 Santa Monica concerts By Staff Writer Local group…the Off Jingle Bell Rockers will be performing once...

Santa Monica City Councilmember’s Music Store Robbed for the Second Time This Year

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

September and November robberies at Santa Monica Music Center By Dolores Quintana Santa Monica City Councilmember Laura Negrete is co-owner...