Suspected arsonist arrested in connection with Boyle Heights church fire

BOYLE HEIGHTS — A 25-year-old-man has been arrested in connection with intentionally setting a fire and vandalizing Resurrection Church in Boyle Heights and several other houses of worship across the Los Angeles area, police said.

Christian Michael Garcia was arrested on Thursday, Jan. 25 for suspicion of arson and vandalism following an investigation by fire and police agencies in Los Angeles and Pasadena.

“The destruction of a house of worship not only devastates the affected congregation, but affects the entire community,” said LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck in a statement. “We will always investigate and prosecute the serious crime of arson to the fullest extent of the law.”

Garcia was arrested on the same day that firefighters were called to put out an early morning blaze at Resurrection Catholic Church in the 3300 block of Opal Street. The fire was contained to a vestibule and candle room near the entrance of the 7,500-square-foot church but did not spread to the main sanctuary, said officials. In addition to the fire, statues outside the church was knocked over and vandalized with spray paint.

The Resurrection fire came about two weeks after  the 129-year-old Church of the Angels on the border of Pasadena and Highland Park was also damaged by fire and vandalism. Officials said similar incidents have been reported at other houses of worship in recent years.

Officials provided no additional details about Garcia when they announced the arrest.  The case will be presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney on Monday.

The Eastsider’s Daily email digest includes all new content published on The Eastsider during the last 24 hours. Expect the digest to land in your in email in box around 7 p.m. It’s free to sign up!

Once you submit your information, please check your email box to confirm your subscription.

Talk is Cheap, Gathering News is Not

Join the readers whose monthly sponsorships defray the costs of gathering news and storytelling. That includes covering a variety of bills — from web hosting to bookkeeping — as well as payments to writers and photographers who have been generous with their time and talent. Only $5.99 a month!

Load comments