Antioch: Man arrested on suspicion arson, assault with a deadly weapon

ANTIOCH — A 40-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of arson and assault with a deadly weapon in connection with an attack at a homeless encampment that nearly sent flames to several nearby residents’ doorsteps Wednesday, authorities said.

Around 6:05 p.m., officers responded to a report of an assault at the encampment near Hillcrest Avenue and Wild Horse Drive. As they approached, officers said a man had struck another person in the head with a metal pipe before lighting a rag on fire and tossing it into the person’s camp area.

The rag caught the encampment on fire before spreading to a nearby hill beside the 4200 block of Spaulding Street, but Contra Costa Fire Protection District firefighters managed to respond to the area and extinguish the flames thanks in part to favorable conditions. Paramedics provided the assault victim with care for minor injuries.

After a resident shared a picture with officers of a man who had fled the area on a bicycle, an Antioch police corporal saw a man with a similar-looking bicycle crossing Hillcrest at Larkspur Drive. A search of the man yielded what police described as an incendiary device.

The man was arrested on suspicion of arson, assault with a deadly weapon and possession of an incendiary device, and booked into Martinez county jail.

A ConFire arson investigator and Antioch police are investigating the incident. Anyone with information may call the police department’s non-emergency line at 925-778-2441 or text-a-tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using the key word ANTIOCH, referencing case No. 21-8716.

Contact George Kelly at 408-859-5180.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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