POWAY, Calif. — A man suspected of setting a house fire that left his girlfriend with serious burns was taken into custody Monday after a 7 1/2-hour SWAT standoff in City Heights, police said.
“We learned that Vidal Webb had actually intentionally set the victim on fire,” said Sergeant Chad Boudreau of the San Diego Sheriff’s Department.
Webb, 41, was arrested by San Diego police SWAT officers at a home in the 3800 block of Chamoune Avenue at 12:21 a.m., according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.
Authorities surrounded the home around 4:30 p.m. Sunday. More than 12 hours earlier, Webb allegedly set a fire in Poway that sent his girlfriend to UCSD Medical Center’s Burn Unit with serious injuries.
At 5:09 a.m., deputies received a report of a house fire in the 13800 block of Belvedere Drive in Poway, Boudreau said.
“We received additional information that there was a female on fire and the residents of the house were putting water on her to extinguish the flames,” said Boudreau.
Boudreau said Webb’s motive may have been an argument.
“There might have been an argument a few days before. We’re not sure on the details of the argument yet, so we’re still trying to talk to Webb about that as well,” said Boudreau.
Neighbors told Fox 5, the couple had been renting the Belvedere Drive home. Nextdoor neighbors said they often exercised on the deck and seemed nice.
“Just couldn’t believe it, I mean this is a quiet neighborhood,” said Dawn Zeto, who lives nearby, adding the couple was quiet. “We didn’t hear of anything, but that’s probably because the houses are spaced far apart. I didn’t even know the boyfriend lived here.”
Webb was booked into San Diego Central Jail on suspicion of attempted murder and arson causing great bodily injury.