A man has been arrested on suspicion of arson after authorities said he set fire to flags outside several homes in East Long Beach.
John Leo Meylor, 35, of Laguna Niguel, was booked into the Long Beach City Jail Thursday on 13 counts of arson, one arson attack on an occupied building and one probation violation, Long Beach Police Department spokesman Richard Mejia said.
No bail was set because of the parole violation, Mejia said.
No injuries were reported in the fires. A car and the facade of a house were damaged, authorities said.
The first report came about 3:30 a.m. Thursday of a vehicle fire at the 2800 block of Iroquois Avenue, Capt. Jack Crabtree, a spokesman for the Long Beach Fire Department. The car was ablaze after a flag hanging over the driveway where it was parked caught fire and fell on the canvas convertible top.
As firefighters were putting out that fire, calls came in reporting fires outside other homes, Crabtree said.
Surveillance camera footage obtained by the Long Beach Post shows a man in a black jacket, gray ski hat and headphones walking towards a house in the dark and using what appears to be a cigarette lighter to ignite the corner of a US flag hanging in front of it.
Crabtree declined to say how many calls were received, citing the ongoing investigation.
By the time firefighters arrived, several fires had already been put out. Firefighters put out others, Crabtree said, noting that the flames coincided with lit flags. Some were US flags; others were burned beyond recognition, he said.
A tipster’s call led authorities to Meylor, they said.
He was arrested after police responded to a fire brigade call at around 2:30 p.m. Thursday at Block 2900 of Studebaker Road, Mejia said. Meylor had already been arrested by firefighters and park rangers when officers arrived.
No charges had been filed against Meylor as of Friday, according to the Los Angeles County Attorney’s Office.
https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-12-09/flags-burned-outside-long-beach-homes-man-arrested Flags burned outside Long Beach homes; man arrested