Arson arrest made on Grizzly Peak Boulevard minutes after Berkeley Hills fire begins

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Daniel Kim/File

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Editor’s note: This piece has been updated to reflect the most updated UCPD arrest log.

UCPD arrested a suspect Wednesday afternoon for an alleged incident involving arson that occurred on Grizzly Peak Boulevard at 1:07 p.m., one minute after Berkeley Police Department and Berkeley Fire Department received a report of “a column of smoke and flames” in the direction of the Berkeley Hills at 1:06 p.m.

Oakland Police Department investigators have not yet determined if the suspect is connected to the fire that began at the intersection of Grizzly Peak Boulevard and Fish Ranch Road, according to an OPD press release issued 3:57 p.m. Thursday.

An official determination of the cause of the fire will be made by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire,  and Oakland Fire Department.

UCPD advised OPD about 1:30 PM that the suspect had been arrested on the UC Berkeley campus, according to the OPD press release.  The suspect was arrested on charges of allegedly  starting a fire resulting in great bodily injury and starting a wildland fire, according to UCPD arrest logs.

The OPD press release wrote that OPD officers responded to a reported vehicle crash involving three vehicles at Grizzly Peak Boulevard approximately one-third miles west of Fish Ranch Road about 8 a.m. Wednesday. OPD officers allege one of the drivers exited their vehicle, “brandished a firearm at an involved vehicle, then returned to their vehicle and fled the scene,” according to the press release.

After 11 a.m., OPD officers were called back to the area after a report of the suspect returning to the scene, according to the press release. OPD officers learned the suspect fled from the vehicle towards the UC Berkeley campus.

Cal Fire spokesperson Scott McLean said Cal Fire did not have any information about the suspect’s arrest.

After the suspect was arrested by UCPD, the suspect was turned over to Highland Hospital and Santa Rita Jail, according to UCPD arrest logs.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the OPD Felony Assault Section at (510) 238-3426.

Bobby Lee is an assistant news editor. Contact Bobby Lee at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @bobbylee_dc.

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  • BerkeleyMews

    What are Bautista’s prior arrests for?