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Police Chase Down Suspected Arsonist

Witness says man set rugs on fire at Livermore High School before fleeing from police.

Police on Tuesday chased down and arrested a man after he was seen setting a small fire at , Sgt. John Hurd said.

At 4:17 p.m. a school resource officer reported putting out a small fire on campus and that a possible suspect took off running — prompting a two-block pursuit.

The 18-year-old man was chased down by police in downtown Livermore at the intersection of McLeod and First streets, across from the . He was detained without incident, Hurd said.

During the pursuit, a police patrol car was involved in a traffic collision with a passing vehicle at Second and McLeod streets. Both vehicles suffered very minimal damage and no injuries were reported, Hurd said.

A man who wished to remain anonymous in this report said he saw the 18-year-old pouring lighter fluid on rugs at the high school before he lit them on fire.

"He said God told him to do it," the man said.

The 18-year-old is not a student on campus and his identity is not being released by police at this time.

Police are investigating the fire and Livermore Patch will update this story as more information is made available.

Cory Noltensmeier January 04, 2012 at 06:52 AM
This is very sad, maybe the kid was traumatized by a recent sad event in his life. The Livermore police department should be lenient and let him go. After all he is just a sweet innocent kid. I am just portraying what some might say about this sick 18 year old adult.
Helen January 04, 2012 at 02:44 PM
Yes, this is very sad. Not matter if he was traumatized or not, it is no excuse to set fire to anything. Want to let him go so he can do it again?
Speedie B January 04, 2012 at 03:43 PM
So glad to hear the resource officer was on campus and responded to the incident quickly before damage was done and that they caught the arsonist. The LPD did their job well at catching him and hope the courts do more than just slap his hand. A sweet, innocent yet troubled kid is not what I read -- a bored, troublemaker is how I read it.
jennifer January 04, 2012 at 07:39 PM
In light of the recent string of arson fires being set to cars in Southern California maybe this teen was just a copy cat on a smaller scale. Either way, I think he should receive the maximum punishment...traumatic event or not. We all are carrying our own demons..but I have never set fire to public property.
Cory Noltensmeier January 04, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Sorry you guys did not see my sarcasm. I was being sarcastic because that is the stuff that was posted about the 25 year old man who took his motorcycle and drove down Murrieta at 90 miles an hour and luckily only killed himself.
Trevor Tooze January 05, 2012 at 01:15 AM
Setting one fire and then letting him get away with it, sounds rediculous to me. Yes, find out what motivated him to do such a dastardly deed, but he should suffer some consequence. I am not sure about your comment, just being a way to get people riled up for your enjoyment.
Generation X Citizen January 05, 2012 at 01:18 AM
Good one My Opinion.
J.P. Martin January 05, 2012 at 03:51 AM
Comparing this incident with that motorcycle collision is comparing apples and oranges. In this case there were no fatalities and he fully intended to destroy property and even possibly life. Of the other we will never know his final intent but its unfortunate he died. It was an obvious consequence out of any number of possible outcomes to his decision and actions, but I would stop short of using the word "deserve" in his death. Its like sentencing all speeders and red light runners and drunk drivers to death in a court of law. This arsonist needs to pay, be evaluated and judged by our courts according to the evidence.
Robert January 05, 2012 at 06:09 AM
Mr My Opinion-is this kid your son? Is that why you think this is something to joke about? You need help sir. If this kid got a slap on the wrist, it might lead to something worse...first a stack of rugs...what's next? A car? A building? Hmmm...Arson is NO JOKING MATTER
doug1414@aol.com January 05, 2012 at 01:37 PM
The city looks so pretty do you wanna burn with me
Get_A_Clue January 09, 2012 at 10:59 PM
So...I'm confused. Where was Walter Stanley and his video recorder when this police officer was protecting life and property? Doesn't he think the police were just "harassing" the 18-year old adult who damaged tax payer's property?

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