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Helicopter spots, guides police to arson suspect in series of park fires

A suspect in a series of fires Saturday afternoon near Dry Creek Pioneer Regional Park on the east edge of Union City has been arrested, East Bay Regional police said.

Witnesses gave descriptions of the suspect to police at the scene of the fire and Eagle 6, the East Bay Regional Park District police helicopter that was actively dropping water on burning areas, spotted a person matching those descriptions.

East Bay Regional Police Department Roman Montalvo, 42, was arrested Saturday, November 3, 2019 on suspicion of setting a series of fire in the East Bay Regional Park District. Montalvo was spotted by a helicopter dumping water on the fires and tracked the suspect until police arrived and took him into custody.

The person tried to flee but the helicopter crew was able to guide police to his location.

Roman Montalvo, 42, was taken into custody on charges that include arson, resisting arrest, and failure to register as a sex offender. Montalvo also had a felony arrest warrant.

The fires, reported shortly before 4:45 p.m. Saturday, burned less than 10 acres and no buildings were damaged or threatened, the park district said.

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