Home News Flamethrower suspects in custody from California street takeover

Flamethrower suspects in custody from California street takeover

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Quinn Wilson

San Bernardino County Sun, Calif.

Two men accused of causing extensive damage to a San Bernardino intersection with a flamethrower during an April street takeover are behind bars, according to San Bernardino police.

Both men, who were identified as 31-year-old Edgar Peña and 41-year-old Eric Hanshaw of Maricopa County, Arizona, are accused of using a flamethrower on the asphalt of the intersection of 5th Street and Mt. Vernon Avenue at 11:38 p.m. on April 24, the San Bernardino Police Department said. Information on Peña’s city of residence was not immediately available.

The incident caused an estimated $150,000 worth of damage to the intersection, requiring extensive repairs by Caltrans, according to Capt. Brian Harris, San Bernardino police area commander, at a May community meeting.

On May 11, police served a search warrant and arrested Peña, authorities said May 12. He was charged with felony counts of arson, vandalism and causing fire of a structure, according to San Bernardino County Superior Court records.

On May 19, Peña pled no contest to causing fire of a structure in a plea agreement in which his remaining charges were dismissed, court records showed. He was sentenced to two years of felony probation and 180 days in county jail, records indicated.

On June 9, Hanshaw was arrested by the Phoenix Police Department at 2:40 p.m., police said. He faces felony charges of arson and vandalism, court records showed.

Hanshaw was being held in Arizona awaiting extradition to California, according to Sgt. Equino Thomas, spokesman for the Police Department.

The device used at the street takeover was a farming tool used to burn crops that does indeed “throw flames,” Thomas said. It was previously said that the device was used on the asphalt to help give the cars doing doughnuts “more traction,” Thomas said in April.

“Since this (April) event, the City of San Bernardino has taken a zero-tolerance approach to these street takeovers and have deployed additional patrol units to respond to these types of events.” Thomas said. “Since that time, we are beginning to see a decrease in this type of activity in the city.”

Since the April takeover, the Police Department has publicized on social media at least 60 arrests made and dozens of cars that have been impounded at other local street takeover events, according to police. It wasn’t immediately clear what the total number of arrests and impounds was.

During the April incident, Victor Manuel Alanis was accused of taking couches from a burglarized semi-truck and leaving in his car with stolen couches in the truck bed. A $200,000 warrant for robbery was issued for his arrest, and as of Wednesday, June 15, Alanis remained at large, according to Thomas.

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