Prosecutors have filed charges against a man for lighting a Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) vehicle on fire.
This week the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed charges on George Joosten, a 32-year-old male, for lighting a police vehicle on fire.
According to the Santa Monica Police Department, on February 25 at around 6:04 p.m., officers were investigating a robbery incident and detaining the involved suspects at the 4th Street Metro train station. Police say one of their unmarked police vehicles was left at the intersection of 5th and Colorado with its emergency lights activated.
“A male suspect, unrelated to the call officers were investigating, was observed by witnesses jump on top of that vehicle, pour an unknown substance over the hood, then igniting it on fire. The suspect fled the area before being stopped by officers,” the SMPD said.
Accoridng to police, witnesses positively identified Joosten as being the person causing the arson. The fire was extinguished by police personnel utilizing a fire extinguisher.
On March 1, the Los Angeles County’s District Attorney’s Officer charged Joosten with one county of arson. Joosten remains in custody pending future court proceedings on a $50,000 bail at Twin Towers Correctional Facility. He is expected to appear in court on March 15.
Joosten has no previous arrested history in LA County, according to Sheriff’s Department records.
Anyone with additional information related to this incident is encouraged to contact Detective A. Buus with the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) at (310) 458-8943 or the Watch Commander’s office at (310) 458-2249.