A transient was behind bars Monday in connection with a months-long spate of suspicious Chula Vista brush fires, four of which erupted over a roughly 10-minute period last week.
Alejandro Gonzalez, 33, was arrested Sunday afternoon after allegedly being seen hurrying away from the latest in the series of apparent arson crimes, a blaze that charred vegetation in an open area off the 1700 block of Fourth Avenue, according to police.
“During questioning by officers, Gonzalez admitted to intentionally setting several brush fires in the river-bottom area over the past five months,” said Lt. Dan Peak. “Gonzalez claimed he was setting the fires due to hearing voices.”
Since late April, about a dozen blazes have broken out in riverbeds and other locations in the city, including Veterans Park on East Palomar Street and at Eastlake High School. Gonzalez is suspected of setting at least four of them.
The fires have resulted in no serious property damage.
Starting about 4 a.m. Thursday, fires erupted in quick succession at Lake Crest Drive and Wueste Road; East J Street and River Ash Drive; Buena Vista Way and Telegraph Canyon Road; and at the secondary school in the 1100 block of Eastlake Parkway, according to police. The origins of the blazes remain under investigation.
Gonzalez was booked into San Diego Central Jail on suspicion of arson and was being held on $75,000 bail pending arraignment, scheduled for Friday afternoon.
— City News Service
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