Man suspected of arson at Pasadena Police Department

PASADENA — A man was behind bars Wednesday on suspicion of trying to burn down the Pasadena Police Department, officials said.

Demetrius Newborn, 35, of Pasadena was booked on suspicion of arson, Pasadena police Lt. Rodney D. Wallace said. Newborn is accused of entering the Pasadena Police Department lobby, 207. N. Gafield Ave., about 10 p.m. Monday, “with a small bottle of flammable liquid,” the lieutenant said.

Wallace said Newborn then soaked a piece of paper in the liquid, dropped it on an upholstered chair and set in on fire.

Officers quickly stamped out the fire before it spread and arrested Newborn, he added.

A motive in the alleged arson wasn’t clear Wednesday, Sgt. Marie Sell said.

He said nothing prior to starting the fire, she said, and has not been willing to speak with police.

According to Sell and Los Angeles County Superior Court records, this is the second time Newborn has been accused of trying to torch the Pasadena Police Department.

He was charged with attempted arson in late 2008 after attempting the same type of arson at the Pasadena Police Department, along with a burglary charge.

The attempted arson charge was ultimately dismissed, records show, though he was convicted of the burglary.

According to sheriff’s booking records, Newborn was being held in lieu of $250,000 bail at the Pasadena Police Department’s jail. Information was not available regarding his initial court appearance.

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