Man caught trying to set fire in Normal Heights, police say

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Arson Suspect
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SAN DIEGO -- Investigators are trying to determine if a man who was caught trying to set a fire in Normal Heights early Monday is connected to several unsolved arson cases in the City Heights area, police said.

The suspect, whose name and age were not immediately available, was caught after a brief chase, police said. He was carrying a lighter, a butane torch, newspaper and two bottles filled with some kind of flammable liquid, they said.

Officers were sent to the 5100 block of Hawley Boulevard after a resident called to report an arson attempt. The resident said he woke up at about 2 a.m. when he heard activity outside his home. He went out to investigate and found a young man trying to light some bushes on fire, police said. He confronted the man, who took off on push scooter.

Police searched the area and eventually found the man hiding in some bushes on Cromwell Court. The suspect tried to run away, but officer chased him down.

Officers called in arson investigators to determine if the suspect is connected to a series of unsolved fire cases in the City Heights neighborhood,.

"We'll also be looking at this male as someone who may possibly be involved in the other fires we've had in the past couple of weeks over the 4200 Shimone area ", San Diego police Lt. Paul Connelly.

The suspect injured his hand while trying to get away from police, so he was taken to UCSC Medical Center for treatment, police said.

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