Officers arrested a man Monday in the Wallingford neighborhood after residents spotted him lighting a fire in a recycling bin outside a home.
A witness called 911 around 6:30 PM when he spotted the suspect open his neighbor’s recycling bin and set fire to the contents. The suspect ran away when the witness yelled at him.
Seattle firefighters arrived and extinguished the flames that were just feet from the home and police spoke with the witness, who described the suspect as a white male wearing a large yellow trench coat, carrying a large blue bag.
Officers Dale Umpleby and Jacob Briskey began searching the area and found a hole in a chain link fence in the 4000 block of 5 Ave NE. They checked under the highway and found a makeshift tent with a 51-year-old man inside, hiding under a blanket. Police soon found an empty gas can concealed inside a blue bag, and a yellow coat nearby.
Officers arrested the suspect and booked him into King County Jail for reckless burning.Police are also investigating whether the man may be connected to a series of other small fires recently set in the Wallingford area.