Good Samaritan tackles man lighting brush fires along California road

Posted at 2:17 PM, Apr 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-23 14:17:51-04

LOS ANGELES - A suspected arsonist accused of setting a series of fires in the Sepulveda Pass near the Getty Center was taken into custody on Monday after a Good Samaritan saw the man lighting the fires and tackled him.

The suspect was arrested after Richard Lazenby took him down to the ground and held him there until officers arrived. Part of that confrontation was caught on camera.

"I yell at him, like, 'what are you doing?" Lazenby told KTLA. "And he says, 'I'm destroying everything.'"

Lazenby was driving home from Easter Sunday church service with his family when he saw brush fires burning along Sepulveda Boulevard. He then saw the suspect lighting another fire, and blocked the man with his vehicle.

"So I get out of the car, and my goal was to take him down at that point," Lazenby said.

Wearing his Sunday best, Lazenby took the suspect to the ground and pinned him.

"Wrestled with him in the street, tumbled over into the weeds, got on top of him, pinned him down with his arms," Lazenby said.

Lazenby's wife was recording as their children looked on, at first with fear, then with pride.

"The most satisfying thing about this for me is it made my kids feel like daddy was there to protect them," Lazenby said. "If I didn't do anything, you know, there could've been a lot more damage than this scratch on my face."

The investigation is ongoing.