Tyler Carender, 20, is charged with causing more than a half-million dollars in damage to St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church and Oak Crest Middle School in a series of early morning fires last fall.
The first fire, on Oct. 22, destroyed the youth center at the church, prompting the building to be razed. Investigators noted a set of Vans footprints at the scene, according to a search warrant unsealed in San Diego federal court last week for Carender’s home, car and cellphone.
A week later, flames erupted in the middle school administration center, causing a partial ceiling collapse.
And on Nov. 12, another fire ignited at the church’s preschool building. Investigators suspected it was sparked by a Molotov cocktail going through a window. A neighbor reported seeing a man flee the scene.
Carender, who lives with his mother in a home that abuts the middle school, had been arrested in 2011 for firing an airsoft rifle at middle school students from his backyard.
A few days after the third fire, a tipster called Crime Stoppers fingering Carender as the arsonist. The person, whose name was not revealed by authorities, called a second time with more information.
Source: San Diego Union-Tribune