A person staying at the lodge in the 300 block of Broadway in Chula Vista made an emergency call shortly before 2 a.m. to report confronting a prowler, according to police. The caller said the man had tied a length of metal cable around several doorknobs outside rental rooms, as if to prevent occupants from getting out, Lt. Phil Collum said.
Officers arrived to find the suspect, identified as 25-year-old Jon Ralph Dibble, in front of the motel office. Dibble, who appeared intoxicated, was carrying beer bottles, several of which had been filled with gasoline and had rags stuffed into them, and a cigarette lighter, the lieutenant said.
Police determined that the suspect — who allegedly had also cut a window screen outside a room, possibly in an attempt to break in — had been ejected from the motel earlier in the night for being drunk and disruptive, according to Collum.
Dibble, an unemployed Chula Vista resident, was booked into San Diego Central Jail on suspicion of burglary and possession of arson devices. He was being held without bail pending arraignment, scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.