Suspect charged with arson in connection to Grizzly Fire


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A Concord man, Alfredo Bautista, allegedly admitted to a police officer that he used a cigarette lighter to start Wednesday’s Grizzly Fire after a road rage incident earlier in the morning.

Bautista was arrested Wednesday on charges of alleged arson and assault in connection to the Grizzly Fire, which broke out at the intersection of Grizzly Peak Boulevard and Fish Ranch Road in the Berkeley Hills on Wednesday afternoon.

Bautista approached a vehicle while armed with a rifle and followed the victims in his own vehicle after they attempted to escape, according to a declaration submitted by Oakland Police Department officer Matthew Jung. Bautista then rammed his own vehicle multiple times into the victims’ car before fleeing the scene, according to Jung’s declaration.

UCPD officer Ryan Miyamoto said he responded hours later to a reported vehicle theft at Berkeley Lab, where he allegedly identified a shirtless Bautista standing next to the stolen vehicle, according to a second declaration submitted by Miyamoto.

Bautista was then detained and allegedly found to have a cigarette lighter in his pocket during a search.

Bautista was booked Saturday at Santa Rita Jail and his bail has been set by a judge at $355,000.

Around 200 firefighters from multiple local fire departments, including Berkeley Fire Department, responded throughout Wednesday to the Grizzly Fire.

The fire burned 20 acres of land and caused a number of campus properties, including buildings at Berkeley Lab, the Space Sciences Laboratory and the Lawrence Hall of Science, to be evacuated as a precautionary measure.

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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  • elrod

    This story does not flow. Berkeley hills, road rage, rifle in car, and then arson? Whatever, get this kook behind bars.

  • wandagb

    Gee, police report shows he doesn’t have a drivers license. Wonder what that might possibly suggest?

    And where did he get a rifle?

    • ZRX3918

      That he doesn’t have a drivers license. Anyone can get one in Calif. Bunky.

      • lspanker

        You clearly failed Investigative Reporting 101… or was that intentional?

        • ZRX3918

          You’ve clearly been asleep. This story is 5 months old. I repeat anyone can get a drives license in Calif. Only restrictions are passing a test, age and point violations.

  • mtv1 Geo

    Immigration Status? Protected by Sanctuary City? Prior Criminal Record?