San Francisco Bay Area Violent Crime

Nelson Hernandez Arrested in Connection with Hospital Arson

Sheriff’s deputies arrested a man on Tuesday, suspected of starting two fires at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital earlier this month, causing about $30,000 in damages, sheriff’s officials said. Sheriff’s deputies had been looking for Nelson Hernandez, 28, for nearly two weeks in connection with the June 1 fires.

Hernandez has been arrested on suspicion of attempted arson, possession of combustible material or incendiary device, arson and vandalism, according to sheriff’s officials. On June 1 around 8:30 a.m., deputies initially responded to a small fire on the hospital’s sixth floor.

After reviewing surveillance video and conducting an investigation, witnesses told deputies that the suspect who started the fire had returned. Deputies then confirmed through surveillance video that the same suspect had indeed returned around 1:30 p.m. On his second visit, the suspect allegedly lit firecrackers while alone in an elevator and then threw them out of the elevator’s door on the sixth floor. The fires resulted in burned floors and walls and caused about $30,000 in damages, sheriff’s officials said.

Deputies were able to identify the suspect as Hernandez, according to sheriff’s officials. After obtaining an arrest warrant for Hernandez, deputies interviewed witnesses and attempted to find him at several addresses. On Tuesday, they located him at one of the addresses, near Buchanan and Turks streets around 12:40 p.m. Deputies approached Hernandez as he was leaving the residence and arrested him. Hernandez is being held on $200,000 bail, according to jail records.

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