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PD Arrests Hit-and-Run Suspect Whose Battered Car Sparked Brush Fire

Five spot fires that sparked in a canyon along Genesee Avenue in Clairemont Friday were started by a hit-and-run suspect who lost his tire in a crash, police said.

The fires, which were a combined 1 acre in size, were first reported around 5:30 p.m. near the intersection on Genesee Avenue and Boyd Avenue.

San Diego police confirmed the fires were started by a suspect who fled the scene of a crash at Balboa Avenue and Mt. Alifan Drive. The driver’s Chevy truck lost its front passenger-side tire in the collision, police said.

One of the drivers involved in the original crash told NBC 7 he accidentally cut off the Chevy driver, which led the Chevy driver to side-swipe him near Genesee Avenue.

“I didn’t see him in my rearview mirror,” the victim said.

With a trailer in tow, the driver of the Chevy continued down Genesee Avenue with the crash victim chasing behind him.

The three-wheeled Chevy began sparking along the road. SDPD confirmed the sparking truck was the cause of the brush fires.

The driver of the Chevy continued into Linda Vista where he was able to unhitch the trailer and park both it and his truck near Comstock Street, about a mile away, before police caught him.

“I feel there are other ways to resolve that,” wtiness Tyler Johnson said. “Wow. That’s crazy that you gotta be that mad to hit somebody and take off. He had a bad Friday.”

SDPD identified the suspect as 46-year-old Raul Lopez was arrested and booked on misdemeanor hit-and-run charges.

San Diego Fire-Rescue made short work of the fires with nearly 35 firefighters on the ground and two helicopters in the air. By 7:00 p.m., firefighters had the flames knocked down and had cleared the scene.

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Source: NBC San Diego

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