San Diego Police Department

Suspect in Police Station Arson Jailed

SDPD Arson Arrest
San Diego Police

A man who allegedly threw Molotov cocktail-style bottle bombs at a Logan Heights police substation on two consecutive nights this week, causing minor damage, was behind bars Thursday.

Jose Luis Pena, 51, was arrested Wednesday evening while riding a bicycle near the site of the crimes, according to San Diego police.

About 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Pena allegedly set fire to a plastic bottle filled with a flammable liquid while standing at a trolley platform in the 2500 block of Commercial Street and hurled it at a parking structure at the nearby SDPD Central Division station, Lt. Julie Epperson said.

The incendiary device ignited some shrubbery, after which the arsonist fled, Epperson said. A few minutes later, however, he returned and tossed the same type of makeshift bomb into a parking lot at the police facility.

Firefighters were able to quickly douse both small blazes.

About 11 p.m. Monday, Pena allegedly returned to the neighborhood east of Interstate 5 and south of state Route 94, put a bottle filled with flammable liquid on a windowsill at the police station parking structure, lit it on fire and fled.

Central Division officers saw the resulting flames charring a section of the brick structure and put them out with a fire extinguisher, the lieutenant said.

Pena was booked into San Diego Central Jail on suspicion of three counts of arson and three counts of illegal use of an incendiary device. He was being held on $75,000 bail pending arraignment, scheduled for Sept. 25.

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