Raytheon Building on Balboa Avenue
The Raytheon Building on Balboa Avenue. Courtesy Google Maps

A man who allegedly crashed a car early Wednesday morning into a Kearny Mesa building housing the offices of an aerospace defense contractor, then set fire to the vehicle and fled on foot, was arrested later in the day on suspicion of arson.

Emergency personnel responding to a report of a possible explosion and smoke coming from a building in the 8600 block of Balboa Avenue found an abandoned and burning Toyota Prius up against the Raytheon Integrated Defense building about 2:30 a.m., according to San Diego Police.

The driver was gone by the time the crews arrived, public-affairs Lt. Shawn Takeuchi said.

A “secure lab” located on the other side of the impacted wall withstood the impact, preventing the car, which was reported stolen, from breaching the structure, 10News reported.

It took firefighters about 20 minutes to subdue the blaze, which caused only minor damage to the building, a San Diego Fire-Rescue Department dispatch supervisor said. Investigators determined, however, that the blaze had been intentionally set, Takeuchi said.

“Due to the nature” of the incident, police officials called in city arson investigators along with the FBI and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to assist in gathering and evaluating evidence in the case, Takeuchi said.

Wednesday afternoon, detectives located and arrested the alleged perpetrator, Daniel Mackinnon, 36. He was expected to be booked into county jail on suspicion of arson and other charges, the lieutenant said.

Officials disclosed no suspected motive for the alleged crime.

Updated at 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 24, 2019

— City News Service

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.