A 45-year-old Canyon Lake man was arrested Wednesday, Jan. 3, after authorities alleged he tried to light his neighbors’ home on fire for the second time in less than a year before leading deputies and then California Highway Patrol officers on a chase up the 15 and 91 freeways into Orange County.
David Brian Harry was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, arson and committing a felony while out on bail. He was booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center without bail, online jail records show.
According to a Riverside County sheriff’s news release, a woman was inside her home in the 28000 block of Yosemite Place when she was startled by a loud thud, similar to an earthquake. Seconds later she saw a wood stake crash through her living room window, followed by a burning road flare which ignited her window blinds and carpet.
Sheriff’s officials say the woman quickly grabbed the flare and threw it into her driveway to prevent further damage, then walked outside and was confronted by Harry.
“When the victim screamed at Harry to stop, he yelled several expletives and made vulgar comments about her,” the release says. “At the same time, he ignited another road flare and set the victim’s wooden fence ablaze. The victim was able to douse the flames with her garden hose before the house caught fire, but not before a portion of the fence was permanently damaged.”
The woman called 911 so Harry fled in his pickup truck, which appeared to have been lodged against the home, officials say.
Police arrived and tried to stop Harry, but he fled in his truck from Canyon Lake to Lake Elsinore, and then into Corona, according to the release.
The California Highway Patrol took control of the pursuit and were able to disable Harry’s truck tires as he was on the 15 Freeway, but doing so had little initial impact — he continued to evade them and lead them on a slow speed pursuit into Orange County.
Harry’s vehicle eventually came to a rest in Featherly Park in Yorba Linda near the intercounty bike trial, authorities say. They say he refused commands to surrender, but was eventually arrested after a brief struggle.
After Harry was interviewed by sheriff’s deputies, he was booked into jail. He was denied bail because it was the second time that he was suspected in trying to light a fire at his neighbor’s home.
Harry was arrested in April 2017 after residents at the same home said he tried to roll a burning SUV into their home after a confrontation, according to arrest warrant documents. He was charged with attempted murder, arson, attempted arson and vandalism. He had not yet gone to trial in connection with those crimes, online court records show.
Sheriff’s officials are asking anyone with information about the incident or similar incidents involving Harry to contact investigators at the Perris Sheriff’s Station by calling (951) 210-1000, or by email at [email protected]