1 arrested in connection to multiple fires in Northeast Salem
SALEM Ore. (KPTV) - A 28-year-old man was arrested early Sunday morning after a series of fires were reported in Salem, according to the Salem Police Department.
Around 10 p.m., police and fire crews responded to the 1900 block of Lancaster Drive Northeast after someone reported a dumpster fire at the BottleDrop building. Police developed a suspect description from surveillance footage.
During the next few hours, three more suspicious fires were reported in the same area, with the last just after 1 a.m. Sunday at the Lucky Fortune Restaurant at 1401 Lancaster Drive NE.
At some point, early Sunday morning, an officer on patrol saw a person who fit the suspect’s description from the BottleDrop fire and detained him. Police did not say when exactly on Sunday morning the suspect was spotted.
Police said the man, Leonardo Hernandez-Cruz, tried to run away but was quickly caught and arrested. Hernandez-Cruz later “admitted to arson investigators his involvement in the garbage receptacle fire at the BottleDrop location,” police said.
Hernandez-Cruz was booked into the Marion County Jail and charged with arson, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct. He also faces additional charges for three other fires he was involved in setting in Northeast Salem:
- 3900 block of Sunnyview RD NE, a bag of garbage in a hedge next to an apartment building
- 1300 block of Lancaster DR NE, a trash can within a wood enclosure
- 1401 block of Lancaster DR NE, a pile of refuse adjacent to the Lucky Fortune Restaurant building
Hernandez Cruz was arraigned Monday on initial charges related to the fire at the BottleDrop building. He now faces added charges that are under review by the Marion County District Attorney’s Office.
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