A San Diego police cruiser. Photo by Chris Stone
A San Diego police cruiser. Photo by Chris Stone

Updated at 6:45 p.m. Dec. 30, 2014

A man arrested for on suspicion of starting a fire that severely injured his girlfriend in Poway over the Christmas weekend jumped to his death Tuesday at the Central Jail in downtown San Diego, authorities said.

Vidal Abraham Webb, 41, jumped from the second tier of his housing area to the floor of a dayroom below around 10 a.m., sheriff’s Lt. John Maryon said. Webb was pronounced dead 20 minutes later despite receiving aid from a doctor and other jail medical staff, along with deputies, he said.

Webb allegedly set his girlfriend on fire Sunday morning in the 13800 block of Belvedere Drive. She was taken to UCSD Medical Center’s Burn Unit with serious injuries, sheriff’s Sgt. Chad Boudreau said.

Deputies were sent to the Poway home around 5:10 a.m. after someone called for help saying a woman was on fire and other residents were dousing her with water, Boudreau said. Webb fled before deputies arrived, he said.

Webb was located at a home in the 3800 block of Chamoune Avenue near Wightman Street in City Heights on Sunday night. He held off law enforcement officers for 7 1/2 hours before being arrested early Monday morning.

He had been scheduled to make his first court appearance Wednesday on charges of attempted murder and arson causing great bodily injury.

The county Medical Examiner’s Office will determine the cause of death, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

— City News Service