Man arrested on suspicion of starting three fires in Castaic

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department seal. File Photo
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department seal. File Photo

An Oklahoma City man was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of purposefully starting three brush fires in Castaic last month.  

The arrest stems from an incident that reportedly began 6 a.m. Feb. 21, near the Warped Paintball Park on the 34000 block of Ridge Route Road.  

Michael Sulanke, 28, was reportedly traveling from Washington to Southern California, where his vehicle broke down. He began to walk toward Castaic on foot, according to Sgt. Daniel Tobin of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Arson/Explosive Detail.  

“(Sulanke) started three separate, small brush fires,” said Tobin, adding that the fires burned approximately 2 acres of forest land near the paintball field, and investigators had not discovered a motive for him starting the blazes.   

Officials with the California Highway Patrol were able to temporarily detain Sulanke, but he was able to escape and flee to the nearby hills and hide, according to Tobin.  

The man reportedly evaded capture for two weeks, although an arrest warrant had been issued for him.  

On Tuesday, investigators were able to locate Sulanke, and book him at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station on suspicion of arson of forest land.  

His bail was set at $75,000 and he is set to be arraigned at the San Fernando Courthouse on Thursday, Tobin said.  

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