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LASD - Los Angeles County Sheriffs Dept Information Bureau (SIB)
Thursday August 9th, 2018 :: 09:55 p.m. PDT

Community

A Passerby Makes a Difference, and as a Result, Two Suspected Arson Suspects are Arrested. Great Job!

Time and time again we are grateful to people who make a difference. In this case, two men were arrested a short time after being suspected of starting a fire near Morris Dam in the San Gabriel Mountains north of Glendora, Tuesday, August 7, 2018 at around 3:00 a.m.

Fortunately, a passerby saw a couple of men trying to set a fire on the southbound side of the freeway off Highway 39. He called 9-1-1 to report the information, which included the suspect’s description and them fleeing the scene in a white truck, and provided the license plate number.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) and Los Angeles County Fire Department (LAFD) personnel responded to find a fire burning on the hillside. California Highway Patrol officers and Sheriff’s deputies closed the freeway in both directions, while LAFD and United State Forestry Service personnel quickly extinguish the fire with the help of water-dropping helicopters. Approximately a quarter acre was burned.

Luckily, Azusa Police Department was able to locate and detain both suspects at Sierra Madre Avenue and Vosburgh Drive in Azusa. Deputies responded to arrest the suspects, and transport them to San Dimas Sheriff’s Station for booking.

Suspect Christopher Ortega, male Hispanic 20 years-old, was booked for Arson. He is being held in lieu of $285, 000 bail.

Suspect Santino Gnaulati, male White 21 years-old, was booked for Arson. He is being held in lieu of $75,000 bail.

This passerby made a difference, and I’m sure the community surrounding the fire area are very grateful for his observation and phone call to 9-1-1.    

The investigation is being handled by United State Forestry Service https://www.fs.fed.us/

For national-level media requests, please submit your question or request to the following email link: pressoffice@fs.fed.us(link sends e-mail) or call the national media line at 202-205-1134. 

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact your local law enforcement agency. If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call "Crime Stoppers" by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile APP on Google play or the Apple App Store or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org
 
Written by:
Deputy Trina Schrader
Sheriff’s Information Bureau – Newsroom
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
Hall of Justice - First floor 
211 W. Temple St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
213-229-1700
 
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LA Crime Stoppers: Partner to prevent or report crime by contacting your local Sheriff’s station. Or if you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call "Crime Stoppers" by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile APP on Google play or the Apple App Store or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org
 
Jim McDonnell, Sheriff
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
 

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