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Employee arrested after overnight arson fire at 24 Hour Fitness

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A 24 Hour Fitness employee was arrested after allegedly setting a fire in the fitness center early Tuesday morning, throwing a fire extinguisher through a window and running away from responding officers, according to police.

Christian Cruz, 24, was arrested in a case that started at about 3:20 a.m. Tuesday when officers responded to a report of a man setting a fire in a room at the building at 1261 Soquel Ave., police said.

Cruz allegedly set fire to an exercise mat in the group exercise room on the first floor, then threw the fire extinguisher through a window when another employee came in to try to put the fire out. He then barricaded himself in the room as it quickly filled with smoke, police said.

As firefighters arrived and worked to extinguish the blaze, police officers searched for the suspect, who ran out of a side door. Officers eventually caught Cruz, who struggled with them before being taken into custody.
He was booked into Santa Cruz County Jail on suspicion of arson, vandalism and resisting arrest, according to police.

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