Deputies arrested three men who allegedly started a fire in the Jurupa Valley High School parking lot after they were refused admission into a Fourth of July celebration, a sheriff’s spokesman said today.
The men were turned away when it was discovered they were trying to smuggle alcohol into the event at the school’s football stadium at about 7 p.m. Tuesday, said sheriff’s Sgt. Ralph Rico.
“A few minutes later, witnesses saw the males build a fire in the school’s east parking lot in an attempt to set the bushes on fire,” Rico said.
“The witnesses extinguished the fire and called 911.”
The men were then apprehended and positively identified by witnesses, Rico said.
Frank Valdez, 26, Joseph Ochoa, 54, and Daniel Garza Medina, 19, all of Jurupa Valley, were booked into the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta on suspicion of conspiracy to commit arson. They were being held today in lieu of $5,000 bail, jail records showed.
Authorities asked anyone with information about the incident to call the sheriff’s Jurupa Valley station at (951) 955-2600.