At 3:00 a.m., PCSO dispatch received the first emergency call to a home in the 200 Block of South Ave A involving a vehicle fire in a residential driveway. When the deputy responded, he observed a 1983 Chevrolet El Camino was fully engulfed. The owner of the vehicle, Tydel Ray, 45, was seen trying to extinguish the flames using a 5‐gallon bucket. The deputy advised Ray to back away from the fire as the fuel tank could explode.
Ray complied and waited for the San Manuel Fire Department to arrive and put the fire out.
Approximately 20 minutes later, a concerned citizen pulled up the scene and advised the deputy of a second fire that was currently burning in a field behind the Minit Market between South Ave A and West Main Street.
While on scene of the second fire, the deputy and responding fire fighters observed a third active fire burning in an alleyway behind a home located in the 100 Block of Park Place.
In each case, investigators determined the fires were intentionally set. Damage to the vehicle and a residential fence was estimated at $1,280.
On 4/20/2012, deputies in San Manuel were investigating a report of a stolen vehicle. The vehicle was located and the suspect, a 16‐year‐old juvenile, was driving the stolen vehicle. During the interview the juvenile admitted to setting fire to all three areas.
The juvenile admitted there had been a dispute at the original address where the vehicle was set on fire. He was asked to leave the residence and when he did he set the car on fire.
After obtaining the confessions from the juvenile, the deputy returned to the address to speak to Ray. While on scene the deputy observed several marijuana plants inside the home. Ray informed deputies he did not have a medical marijuana card. The scene was held and a search warrant was drafted. When the warrant was served, 10 marijuana plants were seized, along with a few small bags of marijuana and multiple items of drug paraphernalia. During the interview Ray admitted to the cultivation of the marijuana. He was booked for Cultivation of Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
Sheriff Babeu stated, “The deputy assigned to these cases did an outstanding job investigating and solving all three. Thanks to his due diligence and thorough attention to details, we have an arson suspect and a producer of drugs off the streets.”