Sacto 9-1-1
May 2, 2013
Helicopter crew apprehends arson suspect in Auburn

By Barbara Barte Osborn
Bee Correspondent

A man suspected of setting a fire near the American River Canyon on Wednesday morning was apprehended by a Placer County Sheriff's helicopter crew member as he attempted to flee the area.

At 11:04 a.m., a resident on Shirland Tract Road in Auburn called 9-1-1 to report a brush fire in a neighbor's field. She also reported a man jumping fences in the neighborhood.

The suspect, Luke Carter, 24, Vacaville, refused to stop when a sheriff's lieutenant shouted at him to do so, authorities said.

The helicopter crew, which was training in the area, then landed in front of Carter. A sheriff's sergeant from the helicopter confronted Carter and a fight ensued.

Carter was taken into custody after the lieutenant caught up to the pair and deployed his Taser.

After medical clearance at a hospital, Carter was booked at the Placer County jail on suspicion of felony battery on a peace officer and arson.

Arson investigators from the Sheriff's Office and the state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection found evidence in the field to confirm the arson, according to a Sheriff's Office news release.

The fire was contained to about half an acre and no structures were damaged.

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