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Man tied to series of fires in Chula Vista river bottom arrested

Chula Vista Police investigate school threat
Posted at 2:04 PM, Sep 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-21 17:04:33-04

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) -- Police arrested a 33-year-old transient in connection with a series of fires set in a river bottom area of Chula Vista since early summer.

Chula Vista police said Alejandro Gonzalez was taken into custody Sunday after officers responded to a reported brush fire near the 1700 block of Fourth Avenue.

According to police, Gonzalez was spotted by officers “walking quickly away from the scene of the fire.” Officers made contact with him and during questioning they found Gonzalez “in possession of several lighters.”

Gonzalez was described as a transient known to frequent Chula Vista’s river bottom area.

In a news release, police said: “During questioning by officers, Gonzalez admitted to intentionally setting several brush fires in the river bottom area over the past 5 months. Gonzalez claimed he was setting the fires due to hearing voices. Gonzalez was taken into custody by officers and later booked into county jail on multiple counts of arson.”

Police linked Gonzalez to the following fires:

  • May 24: 2300 Faivre Street
  • June 14: 2300 Faivre Street
  • Sept. 16: Third Ave. and Beyer St.
  • Sept. 20: 1700 Fourth Ave.

These fires erupted in the river bottom area since April, but investigators have not located or identified a person connected to them:

  • April 30: Fourth Ave. and Beyer St.
  • June 5: 1700 Fourth Ave.
  • June 13: Fourth Ave. and Main St.
  • Aug. 14: 100 Jacqua St.

Meanwhile, Chula Vista police and fire investigators are still trying to determine who is responsible for setting a series of fires in the city from Sept. 17-19. The fires were reported at these locations:

  • Sept. 17, 4 a.m.: Lake Crest Dr. and Wueste Rd.
  • Sept. 17, 4:05 a.m.: East J St. and River Ash Dr.
  • Sept. 17, 4:06 a.m.: Telegraph Canyon Rd. and Buena Vista Way
  • Sept. 17, 4:08 a.m.: 1100 Eastlake Pkwy (Eastlake High School)
  • Sept. 19, 5:05 a.m.: 785 E. Palomar St. (Veterans Park)

Anyone with information on the Sept. 17-19 incidents is urged to contact Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.