News Story


Unincorporated Ventura - Two Arrested for Arson After Starting Brush Fire
5/18/2014 4:00:00 PM


Nature of Incident:

Arson Arrests

Report Number:

RB# 14-10984


4000 Block of Crooked Palm Road Ventura, Ca. 93001

Date & Time:

05/18/2014 @ 11:13 AM

Unit(s) Responsible:

Ventura County Sheriff's Office-  Ojai Patrol, Air Squad 8


Ventura County Fire Department-  Medic/Engine 23, Hand Crew 11 &  

                                                          Battalion Chief


Ventura City Fire- Medic/Engine 1, Medic /Engine 2, & Battalion Chief


Ventura County Arson Task Force


(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent

City of Residence


(S1) Samuel Paterson

(S2) Male Juvenile









On 05/18/2014, at approximately 11:15 AM, an alert citizen traveling on the Ventura-Ojai Bike Trail near Crooked Palm Road saw two males fleeing the scene of a brush fire.  The citizen immediately contacted the Sheriff's Office.  Patrol units were dispatched to the scene and were able to quickly locate and detain two possible suspects.  Each suspect admitted to being involved in starting and fueling the fire.  One adult and one juvenile were both subsequently arrested for felony arson.  




Sheriff Patrol Deputies responded to an arson in progress call in the area of Crooked Palm Road and the Ventura- Ojai Bike Trail.  A citizen had reported that two male subjects came out of the brush near the trail and were fleeing an active fire.  The citizen gave a description of each suspect and their direction of travel to Sheriff's Dispatch, which was radioed to responding patrol units.


A deputy was able to locate both of the suspects within 5 minutes of receiving the call.  The suspects were detained approximately mile south of the reported location of the fire.  After speaking with additional witnesses, collecting evidence and admissions by the suspects, deputies arrested both suspects for 451 of the California Penal Code/ Felony Arson.  (S1) Samuel Patterson was booked at the Pre Trial Detention Facility in Ventura and the juvenile was booked at Ventura County Juvenile Hall in Oxnard.


As part of the Sheriff's Office response, a helicopter flew to the area to assist in locating the suspects and assessment of the fire.  Ventura County and Ventura City Fire resources responded to the fire, including 3 engine companies, 2 battalion chiefs, and 1 hand crew.   With their collected effort, they were able to quickly knock down and contain the approximately 50 by 50 foot brush fire.  Additional responding fire engines were cancelled once the fire was extinguished.  A member of the Ventura County Arson Task Force responded to the fire for further investigation.


The area where the fire was intentionally set is heavily brush and extremely dry due to recent drought conditions.  At the time of the fire, winds were blowing at 10-15 mph with gust up to 25 mph.  The alertness of a concerned citizen and quick responses of Sheriff and Fire resources certainly averted a much larger incident and directly contributed to the apprehension of two dangerous suspects.


All residents are reminded to contact the Sheriff's Office regarding any suspicious subjects, vehicles, or activities within the open spaces of our county.



Prepared by:

Sergeant B. Koppenjan


Media Release Date:



Follow-Up Contact:

Detective Joe Mulrooney 805-646-1414



Approved by:

Captain Rob Davidson



Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime.  The caller may remain anonymous.  The call is not recorded.  Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).