Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 8 / 22 February 2018

Man held in SF after arson attempt aimed at ‘demons’

A 25-year-old man who allegedly told police that he was “getting rid of demons” as he lit a fire near San Francisco’s Dolores Park Thursday has been held for an involuntary psychiatric evaluation, according to Officer Albie Esparza, a police spokesman.

The suspect “was lighting paper on fire on the public stairway” at 3:30 p.m. 19th and Sanchez streets, Esparza said in a summary today (Friday, September 11). After the man told police about the demons, he was detained under the state’s 5150 code, which is where someone is held involuntarily for up to three days while they’re assessed for possible psychiatric disorders.

Esparza declined to release the suspect’s name and city of residence, saying since it was “a 5150 detention” those details are “not public record.”

No injuries or damages were reported.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, September 11, 2015 @ 10:32 am PST
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