Man arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, arson
LOMPOC — Lompoc police officers arrested William Morales, 35, of Lompoc Tuesday on suspicion of attempted murder, arson and other charges related to a fire.
At approximately 12:43 p.m., Lompoc Police Department Officers were dispatched to Mental Health, located in the 1000 block of East Ocean Avenue of Lompoc, regarding a man allegedly attempting to assault staff.
While officers were on route, dispatch advised them that the man, William Morales, was allegedly trying to set the building on fire. Officers responded with lights and sirens and located Mr. Morales in the 100 block of North Third Street, holding a large piece of wood. Lompoc police Sgt. Jorge Magana said Mr. Morales threw the wood at officers when they got out of their patrol cars.
The stick hit no one, but it did hit a patrol vehicle, Sgt. Magana said.
Mr. Morales was ordered to get on the ground, and he refused, then threw another piece of wood at the officers, Sgt. Magana said.
Mr. Morales then retreated into the building and slammed the door shut.
Officers heard people yelling that people were inside and the building was on fire. Officers forced entry into the building, ordered Mr. Morales to the ground and took him into custody.
Sgt. Magana said Mr. Morales became combative.
Due to his behavior, Mr. Morales was taken to the emergency room for medical clearance, Sgt. Magana said.
The building was evacuated as the flames were growing in the building. Officers knocked down these flames with their extinguishers. The Lompoc Fire Department responded and finished extinguishing the fire.
Staff was interviewed at the scene, and officers learned some victims had barricaded themselves to get away from Mr. Morales’ alleged violent behavior, Sgt. Magana said.
Sgt. Magana said Mr. Morales then set the room on fire where the victims were located.
The damage from the alleged arson is estimated to exceed $10,000.
At the Lompoc ER, Mr. Morales allegedly kicked an officer in the head as he continued to be combative.
Mr.Morales was medically cleared and transported to Santa Barbara County Jail, where he was booked on suspicion of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, arson of an inhabited dwelling, felony vandalism, felony resisting, criminal threats, resisting an arrest and a misdemeanor warrant.
Bail was set at $2,500.
— Katherine Zehnder
Rescue on Arlington Trail
A rescue took place Monday on Arlington Trail, involving a hiking party of three including a 48-year old woman with a life-threatening emergency due to heat.
An ambulance was dispatched, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.
The woman was hoist/rescued and transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. The remaining hikers were escorted down the trail by County Fire and SAR.
— Katherin Zehnder