Last Thursday, two tower fires were reported near Fontana, CA and a third was found fitted with an incendiary device. Police arrested Brian Uriel Guzman, 27, of Riverside, CA as a suspect in all three incidents, according to KTLA-TV.
Guzman was taken into custody by the Fontana Police Department following his arrest with bail set at $250,000 pending his initial appearance in San Bernardino County Superior Court, where he was scheduled to appear yesterday. He was booked on suspicion of arson of forest land, arson of property and attempted arson. Although arrests have been made in the U.K. and Canada, Guzman is the first person charged with arson in relation to a tower in the U.S.
The series of incidents began when officials answered a call regarding a fire at a tower site in Martin Tudor Jurupa Hills Regional Park, at 11660 Sierra Ave, where officers in an official statement described “a telecommunication tower and dry brush around it were on fire.” The San Bernardino County Fire Department was alerted and was able to put out the blaze before it became unmanageable. Only 15 minutes later another fire was reported in the area at a nearby tower and quickly extinguished as well, reported KTLA-TV. Officials checked a third tower in the vicinity, according to police statements, and found a “homemade incendiary device” attached to it. Police said the device failed to ignite.
Guzman was identified as a suspect based on his prior record of having other alleged arson attempts, according to police. Authorities then began searching for the man and found him at 9:40 a.m. on Thursday in Jurupa Hills Park where he was taken into custody. Police said Guzman had an additional homemade incendiary device in his possession. Detectives said they believe he acted alone.