Friday, December 9, 2022

Three Teens Suspected of Arson Allegedly Firing a Flare Gun Sparking Last Month’s Fire Near Costco

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The following is a press release issued by the Ukiah Police Department. The information has not been proven in a court of law and any individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:


Firefighters working the grassfire near Costco on August 22, 2022 now deemed to be arson [Photograph taken by Peter Armstrong]

On 8/22/22, at approximately 1:27 PM, UPD Officers were dispatched to the area of a dry field east of Airport Road near Costco for a report of a vegetation fire. Witnesses described seeing a distress flare being fired from a vehicle toward the field and seeing smoke rise from the field moments later. The vehicle then fled the area northbound. 

Ukiah Police Department Officers and Ukiah Valley Fire Authority responded to the incident. UVFA personnel were able to contain and extinguish the fire quickly. No structures were damaged as a result. Upon speaking with witnesses it was learned that a silver sedan containing what appeared to be three young male subjects were believed to have fired the flare before leaving the area.  Evidence supporting the use of a flare gun was located at the scene. 

Utilizing City of Ukiah FLOCK license plate recognition cameras, investigators were able to obtain photos containing the suspect vehicle, its license plate, and a view of the occupants and ultimately led to the identification of the suspects. Additional investigation yielded further evidence that a flare gun was used by the suspects.  

The area was searched for the vehicle but it was not located at that time. The vehicle’s license plate was entered into the FLOCK camera database which automatically alerts Officers if the vehicle is observed in the future.

On 08/25/22, the FLOCK system alerted Officers that the suspect vehicle was being driven in the city. Officers responded to the area of the alerts, ultimately locating the vehicle and performing a traffic stop. The 17 year old driver was identified as the same subject who had been driving on the day of the incident. The juvenile was placed under arrest and booked at Juvenile Hall.

Gabriel Ruiz [Mugshot from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Booking Logs]

On the night of 09/19/22, a second suspect, 18 year old Gabriel Ruiz, was arrested by MCSO on unrelated charges. Ruiz was interviewed by a UPD investigator regarding this case following his arrest and additional charges are being submitted to the District Attorney’s Office. As of 09/21/22, the third juvenile suspect has not been located. 


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2 COMMENTS

  1. What are these dips#@$ learning at school?
    We used to learn Civics.
    We used to learn about our history.

    Now it’s all global warming, defunding the police, socialists heros like Che the mass murderer and Mao, hate our forefathers with their racist constitution, equity not equality, political twisted science and CRT.

    Results are this bunch.

    Private schools are the way to go, forget the Disneyland vacation sacrifice and send your kids to private schools for a real education.

    FBI Whistleblower: ‘Nobody I Know Signed Up’ To Investigate Parents Who Vented at Schoolboard Meetings
    An FBI whistleblower who was recently suspended said in an interview this week that he became a whistleblower last November because of Attorney General Merrick Garland’s email ordering the FBI to use Patriot Act counterterrorism tools to target parents at school board meetings.
    Special Agent Kyle Seraphin, who was indefinitely suspended on June 1 after nearly six years with the Bureau, said that he was so disturbed by the directive, he went to his congresswoman’s office in New Mexico, and made a “protected disclosure.”
    Non Socialist views a crime?
    Nonetheless, he said, there are many parents out there who have no idea the Bureau has case files on them and that agents have combed through their financial information just because they may have said something deemed inappropriate at a school board meeting.

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MendoFever Staff
MendoFever Staff
Editor's Note: Whenever an article's byline reads "MendoFever Staff", the contents of that article were not composed by any of our reporters. Types of writing that will be attributed to "MendoFever Staff" include press releases, letters to the editor, op-eds, obituaries— essentially writing that is not produced by a reporter.

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