A good Samaritan’s quick-thinking actions helped save homes and maybe even lives after an arsonist reportedly set fires that destroyed 15 acres of land.
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The strange scenario unfolded in Vallejo, California, July 8, when witness Alex Bello told KGO-TV he noticed a man setting a fire and suddenly saw flames spread across the grass.
“A vigilant Vallejo citizen observed a man deliberately starting a vegetation fire with a flare near the intersection of Admiral Callaghan Lane and Turner Parkway,” the Vallejo Police Department said in a Facebook post.
Bello, once trained in martial arts, decided to take quick action.
“I saw somebody jumping in happiness, and he was kind of poking in the grass, looked weird, and then all of a sudden we see flames popping out literally right in front of you,” he said.
Bello followed the suspected arsonist to a vehicle and then attempted to make a citizen’s arrest. The situation quickly turned physical, according to KGO-TV.
“I literally grabbed two legs and dragged him out,” Bello said. “He was like, ‘Dude, let’s talk about it like men,’ and I was like, ‘Dude, I’m not going to let you go; that’s not my job. My job is to hold you down until police get here.”
In the end, that’s exactly what Bello did, waiting for police to arrive and make the arrest as the accused reportedly tried to bite him.
The damage from the fires spanned 11 football fields.
“Our officers investigated the scene and confirmed that the arsonist started the fire based on witnesses’ statements and video footage,” the Vallejo Police Department said. “Our officers also discovered that the arsonist’s Tesla was stolen from Fremont, and he had a few extra flares inside the Tesla.”
Fortunately, Bello’s quick-thinking actions helped save nearby homes and prevented new fires from being ignited.
“It’s important that, especially in this community, that we help each other out,” Bello said. “Seeing something like this is when we have to take action.”
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