ANTIOCH – A 40-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of arson and assault with deadly weapons in connection with an attack on a homeless camp that left several nearby residents on fire on Wednesday, authorities said.
At about 6:05 pm, officers responded to reports of an attack on a camp near Hillcrest Avenue and Wild Horse Drive. As they approached, the police stated that the man hit another man with a metal pipe on the head before setting fire to a rag and throwing it into the man’s camp.
The rag caught fire in the camp before spreading to a nearby hill near 4200 Spalding Street, but the Contra Costa Fire Protection District was able to respond to the area and put out the flames in part due to favorable conditions. The paramedics provided assistance to the victim for minor injuries.
After a local resident shared with officers a photograph of a man who escaped the area on a bicycle, an Antioch police corporal saw a man with a similar-looking bicycle crossing Hillcrest on Larkspur Drive. When the man was searched, what the police called an incendiary device was found.
The man was arrested on suspicion of arson, assault with a deadly weapon and possession of an incendiary device and placed in Martinez County Jail.
A ConFire investigator and Antioch police are investigating the incident. Anyone with the information can call the police department’s non-emergency line at 925-778-2441 or text 274637 (CRIMES) using the ANTIOCH keyword referring to case # 21-8716.
Contact George Kelly at 408-859-5180.