by Bay City News Service
A Santa Rosa man was arrested early today on suspicion of arson after he was spotted running from a burning car, according to police.
Eston Meir Macmath, 22, was spotted around 2:20 a.m. running east on 12th Street away from Monroe Street by an officer on patrol in the area, according to Sgt. John Cregan of the Santa Rosa Police Department.
The officer noticed there was vehicle parked at the intersection that was engulfed in flames, and pursued the fleeing suspect, catching him after he attempted to hide in a recessed entryway to a nearby backyard, Cregan said.
A search of MacMath revealed tools apparently used in arson.
The flames on the vehicle shot around 8 to 10 feet into the air and partially burned a tree on the sidewalk, coming close to a nearby residence, Cregan said. The residents of the home were evacuated as a precaution.
The vehicle, a 1986 Plymouth Reliant, was parked and unoccupied at the time and had been deliberately set on fire, Cregan said. It was a complete loss due to fire damage.
MacMath was arrested on suspicion of arson.