A Fort Bragg man is now booked in the Mendocino County Jail for arson after purportedly lighting a car and camper on fire at at Westport-Union Landing State Beach’s Abalone Point Campground in the early morning of September 3, 2021.
Loren M. Rex, the Chief Ranger for the Sonoma-Mendocino Coast District, told us State Parks Rangers were dispatched to Abalone Point around midnight “regarding a male subject that had lit a car on fire and was threatening to light more things on fire.” There, officers detained and arrested 35-year-old Fort Bragg resident Jeremiah Ernest Susan and then transported him to the county jail.
Ranger Rex said the victim of the crime was on scene during the incident and transported to a friends house after law enforcement conducted the preliminary investigations.
When asked whether Susan’s behaviors could have been a manifestation of mental illness, Ranger Rex said statements made at the scene indicated the fires were intentional and not a result of a mental disturbance.
The MCSO Booking Logs stated Susan was arrested for arson of property, amount of defacement/damage/destruction of $400 or more, and threaten crime with intent to terrorize.
Ranger Rex told us State Parks staff were processing evidence and coordinating with a CAL FIRE Prevention Officer yesterday to complete the arson investigation.
Multiple agencies responded to the scene, Ranger Rex explained, including Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, Westport Volunteer Fire Department, and Cal Fire.
With due respect to the potential victim of the circumstances described, it must be stated that the charges contained in the booking log have not been proven in a court of law. In accordance with the legal principle of the presumption of innocence, any individual described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.