Molotov cocktails thrown at 4th Avenue Jail in Phoenix

Posted at 4:21 PM, Aug 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-03 07:55:56-04

A man is accused of throwing Molotov cocktails at the 4th Avenue Jail in downtown Phoenix on two occasions within a 24-hour period.

Michael Anthony Arreola, 27, was arrested Wednesday morning at a Mesa apartment.

Sheriff Paul Penzone said during a news conference on Wednesday that early Tuesday morning Arreola threw an incendiary device at the building which broke on the sidewalk and caught fire.

"He pulled up in his vehicle and threw what I called a Molotov cocktail at the building," Penzone said.

Around 7 p.m. that same day, Arreola allegedly returned to the 4th Avenue Jail and threw a second Molotov cocktail. No injuries were reported during either incident.

Penzone says Arreola’s white minivan was caught on surveillance. Authorities also had a partial license plate. With the description provided, authorities were able to identify Arreola who was arrested without incident.

According to Penzone, there were several people in the area and at least one person narrowly escaped injury during the first incident.

"There was a citizen in close proximity that had to run from the area," Penzone said.

In the past, the suspect was arrested for assault, burglaries and damaging property in California, Tempe and Phoenix. He is being held in connection to those charges at Maricopa County Jail and charges in connection with the recent fire bombings are forthcoming.

"Quite frankly this is an attack on law enforcement and the law enforcement community; it is an attack on the community at large," Penzone said.