Petaluma police arrest man accused of setting a woman on fire

Petaluma police on Monday arrested a 43-year-old man accused of creating a Molotov cocktail and using it to set fire to a woman and her encampment under a bridge.

Investigators said at about 5:30 p.m., two witnesses driving in the area near Lynch Creek saw smoke coming from under the North McDowell Boulevard bridge and called 911. Investigators said the witnesses also went under the bridge and confronted the suspect, who then tried to put the fire out.   

When officers arrived, they found a woman with minor burns to her feet. Her bedding and part of her shelter had been destroyed by flames, police said.  

Investigators determined the suspect, Jesus Orosco, and the woman were camping under the bridge. They said at one point, Orosco became upset with the woman and created a Molotov cocktail from a partially used bottle of alcohol. Investigators said he then lit it on fire and threw it at the victim's mattress as she was lying on top of it.   

Police arrested Orosco. Investigators said during the arrest he became angry and threatened to kill an officer.

The Petaluma Fire Department arrived on scene and assisted in extinguishing the fire.  

The woman was taken to a hospital to be treated for her injuries. Orosco was booked into Sonoma County Jail with bail set at $250,000.

KTVU contributed to this story.