Sacto 9-1-1
May 1, 2013
Sheriff's helicopter crew helps apprehend Placer arson suspect

A man suspected of setting a fire near the American River canyon this morning was apprehended by a Placer County sheriff's helicopter crew member as the suspect tried to leave the area.

A resident of Shirland Tract Road called 911 at 11:04 a.m. to report a brush fire in a neighbor's field. The woman also reported seeing a man jumping fences in the neighborhood, according to a Sheriff's Office news release.

A sheriff's lieutenant was the first to arrive in the area and he yelled at the man to stop. The man, later identified as Luke Carter, 24, of Vacaville, refused and continued to flee from the lieutenant, sheriff's officials said.

The Sheriff's Office's helicopter crew was training in the immediate area and landed in Carter's path. A sergeant from the helicopter confronted Carter, and a fight ensured. The lieutenant caught up with the pair and deployed his Taser to take Carter into custody, according to sheriff's officials.

Carter was taken to a local hospital for medical clearance, then booked into Placer County Jail on suspicion of battery on a peace officer and arson.

Arson investigators from the Sheriff's Office and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection reported finding evidence in the field that confirmed the arson. The fire was contained to about a half-acre and no structures were damaged.

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