Alleged La Verne arsonist caught on camera setting bizarre fire

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An alleged arsonist was caught on camera using his pants to set a fire behind a diner in La Verne.

An alleged arsonist was caught on camera using his pants to set a fire behind a diner in La Verne.

The suspect was seen acting erratically and holding a knife inside the restaurant before he set fire to a grease container outside, according to restaurant staff and police.

Officials say before heading to the diner, he smashed out windows at three other businesses and set fire to several trash cans, a car and a gazebo.

The incident happened Tuesday night around 9 p.m.

A man entered Mr. D's Diner and began acting erratically. He ordered some food and then went into the bathroom, where he was apparently breaking things, according to diner owner Stefano Kosmides.

"He broke a lot of stuff in the restroom and then they saw he had a knife. They started getting worried about their life because he was obviously on drugs," Kosmides said.

After he ran out of the restaurant, he took off his pants and lit them, to set fire to a grease container behind the restaurant, police said.

The man fled and a restaurant worker spotted the blaze and helped put it out before the restaurant caught on fire.

The restaurant's staff found drug paraphernalia outside by the grease container and the man's knife left behind in the booth.

Police described the suspect as about 19 or 20 years old, about 5-feet 6-inches tall, weighing around 145 pounds with wavy black hair.

They asked anyone with information to contact La Verne police.
Related Topics:
newsfirearsonarson investigationcaught on camerasurveillance videoLa VerneLos Angeles County
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