FONTANA — An out-of-character rampage by an estranged husband put a neighborhood on high alert for three days, with multiple-county Amber Alerts blasting night and day across the California southland. Matthew Rice (37), whose drug abuse led to an estrangement with his wife, broke into her home on November 14th near midnight on the 8000 block of Jamestown Circle, armed with a shotgun.
Rice assaulted his wife and a well-known neighbor with the gun, was ultimately disarmed, then fled on foot. The suspect then set off a series of unexpected events, which left neighbors fearing what could happen next.
From attempted arson and flooding his estranged wife’s home, to attempting to blow up the neighbor’s home and then an in-law’s home in nearby Rancho Cucamonga, this rampage — as was announced by Fontana Police Department as home invasion, assault, arson, and burglary — didn’t seem to end, while neighbors feared for their lives.
Authorities announced: “The suspect’s most current residence is in Santa Barbara. We believe the time frame for the arsons in Fontana and Rancho Cucamonga was somewhere between 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm. The suspect is believed to be armed and dangerous.”
School children were telling friends about their parents’ Amber Alerts blasting at all hours while the suspect ran free in a vehicle that Fontana PD reported as “most likely stolen from his estranged wife’s house during the break-in and flooding incident. ”
Next, Fontana PD received information from the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department that there was an arson at the home of an estranged in-law of the suspect on the 8900 block of Orange in Rancho Cucamonga.
On November 16, Detectives from the Fontana Police Department announced that they were able to locate and arrest suspect Matthew Rice as he pulled into a residential driveway. The arrest took place on the 3800 Vineland block in Studio City.
Please contact 909-350-7700 if you have any information about the suspect.