San Diego

Suspect in Horton Plaza Trash Can Fire Threatened to Blow Up Hospital: Prosecutor

A man accused of setting a fire in a trash can near Horton Plaza earlier this week was already on probation for threatening to blow up a local hospital, a prosecutor said Wednesday. 

Brian Smith, 58, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to one count of arson in connection with a trash can that was found ablaze near Horton Plaza earlier this week. 

A prosecutor said Smith had a previous conviction for threatening to blow up a hospital. The prosecutor did not elaborate, but the judge found it troubling enough to hold Smith without bail. 

On Monday, firefighters were called when OMG Crepes food cart kiosk was found ablaze on the lower level of Horton Plaza shopping center in downtown San Diego. 

It's the same location where a hot dog food cart burned in September

About an hour later, a second fire broke out in a trash can on Broadway Circle. Shortly after, a third fire was reported in front of a building nearby. 

San Diego police arrested Smith in connection with the trash can fire later that morning. Smith has not been connected to any other fire beside the trash can fire.

San Diego Metro Arson Strike Team (MAST) investigators are looking into whether any of the fires are linked.

San Diego County Crime Stoppers offered a $1,000 reward in October for any information leading to an arrest in the hot dog food cart fire. 

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