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A man has been arrested on suspicion of starting a fire while under the influence of a controlled substance, according to the Lake County Sheriff’s Department.
Just after 2 PM on Saturday, June 20, deputies and Cal Fire personnel responded to the area of Highway 20 and Mule Skinner Road in Clearlake Oaks to investigate a reported vegetation fire.
At the scene, they came across 27-year-old Jose Medina Jimenez standing in the middle of the highway and waving his arms. Several bystanders identified him as the one responsible for starting the fire.
As a deputy approached him, Jimenez reportedly pulled a knife from his pocket and began pacing around and refusing commands to drop it, before eventually sitting in the road and appearing to cut himself. Deputies say that, at one point, he also tried to get into an unoccupied vehicle parked nearby.
Eventually, a bystander who spoke Spanish was able to help deputies talk him down and take him into custody.
Once he was in the patrol car, however, he allegedly became combative and had to be further restrained. Deputies believe he had been under the influence of a controlled substance.
Jimenez was ultimately booked at the Lake County Jail. The fire he’s accused of starting reportedly burned about six acres of land belonging to an illegal marijuana grow operation he may have been working for.