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PD: Phoenix residents capture man who set their house on fire

Jacob Espinoza.jpg
Posted at 11:01 AM, Jun 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-14 16:16:36-04

PHOENIX — Valley residents captured an arsonist running through their backyard.

Phoenix police report that on June 8 about 1:30 a.m., a man, later identified as 42-year-old Jacob Sanchez Espinoza, poured gasoline on the wall of a home near 32nd and Van Buren streets and set it on fire.

Six people occupied the home at the time.

Espinoza reportedly hid in the backyard of the home behind some wood pallets until the homeowner and other residents came out of the house.

He then ran through the backyard and pepper-sprayed the chasing homeowner in the face. Undeterred, the homeowner tackled Espinoza and the other residents assisted in detaining Espinoza until police arrived.

Police say surveillance video shows Espinoza using a red gas can to pour gasoline on the wall and light the fire. Investigators allegedly found the lighter and pepper spray in the backyard.

Espinoza admitted to using heroin within a day of the arson.

He has been charged with burglary, arson, assault and six counts of endangerment.