SAN JOSE-The San Jose Police Department announced this week their capture of a wanted suspect in the City’s 41st homicide of 2013 that occurred on November 15 near the 1600 block of West San Carlos Street and Dana Avenue in San Jose. The victim was 20-year-old Pedro Meza Hernandez of San Jose, who was pronounced dead at 8:55 pm on that Friday night. It is believed that the motive for the murder was gang related.
According to Officer Albert Morales with the San Jose Police Department “On Friday, January 10th, 2014, San Jose Police, with the assistance from the Fortuna Police Department, arrested 20 year old Andrew Daniel Rodriguez for an outstanding arrest warrant, charging him with murder”. Rodriguez was booked into the Humboldt County Jail pending extradition to Santa Clara County.
Another arrest of a criminal who struck fear in the hearts of residents was that of a suspected serial arsonist. Sergeant Heather Randol with the San Jose Police Department said, “On January 15, 2014 at approximately 8:10 P.M., the San Jose Police Department arrested Patrick William Brennan of San Jose as the person responsible for setting a series of fires in San Jose.” Brennan’s fire spree began on January 8 and ended on January 12, when police began to close in on the possible arson suspect.
Brennan was booked into Santa Clara County’s Main Jail on two counts of arson. A bail hearing was set, and Brennan is now awaiting his next court hearing while being held on a one-million dollar bail Ramey warrant. It is expected that Brennan will face 12 possible counts of felony arson after the District Attorney’s Office and San Jose Fire Investigators were able to piece together the six-day attack on downtown San Jose residences. (A Ramey warrant allows a law enforcement officer to initiate an arrest of a suspect prior to a court hearing.)
Two homes and a large warehouse fire were just some of the structures that Brennan burned down. He is thought to have first struck near his mobile home, where the San Jose Fire Dept. located two possible fires.
One area was burned along a fence line, with the second fire igniting a portable classroom behind Greater St. John Baptist Church located at 1230 East San Antonio Street. Brennan returned in the week to try and burn the portable classroom completely to the ground after failing the first time to successfully burn down the structure. On Friday Jan 10 around 3:30 am, four additional fires were located and extinguished by residents and neighbors taking hoses to the burning debris, that included a porch fire located near 24th and Peach Street. Within minutes after the first fire was found, a second fire was located near East San Fernando Street, and a third fire was found burning near 28th and San Antonio Street. Brennan had apparently tried to start a fourth fire in the area, but never actually set that one.
On Saturday Jan 11, at around 4:20 am, Brennan was seen running from a house fire at North 17th Street & 797 East St John Street that was announced as the 11th intentionally set fire by him. Brennan also targeted East Williams Street and Julian, with others reaching as far as 33rd Street, with five single family homes being targeted by the suspect. A 5-alarm warehouse fire, that burned more than five businesses located at 1325 Julian Street, destroyed the 125,000-square-foot building at 5:37 a.m. on January 9. Fire Investigators later determined that the fire was intentionally set, and is now being considered a part of twelve separate fires reported to have been intentionally set by the suspect.
Los Gatos Patch: Update: Serial Arson Suspect Arrested
San Jose Mercury News: Convicted arsonist and sex offender blamed for string of fires
Photos: Humboldt County Sheriff, Amy Nilson, Santa Clara County Sheriff, Amy Nilson