Antioch police arrest man on arson, assault charges

In Antioch, police arrested a man suspected of attacking someone in a homeless camp and then starting a fire that spread to nearby hillsides.

Police said that about 6 p.m. on Wednesday, a man attacked someone in a homeless encampment near the intersection of Hillcrest Avenue and Wild Horse Drive.

Officers say the man then lit a rag on fire and tossed it into the encampment, starting a blaze that spread and threatened several homes.

Firefighters from the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District put out the fire before it spread to the adjacent homes. 

A neighbor took a photograph of the suspect as he was fleeing on a distinctive bicycle and provided it to officers at the scene, police said.

About 8 p.m., police saw the man on that bicycle and said he was in possession of an "incendiary device."

Officers booked him into the Contra Costa County Jail in Martinez on three felonies, including assault with a deadly weapon, arson, and possession of an incendiary device.

This fire was the second one at the same location in the last two days.