Bend PD: 2 arrested after starting fire at homeless camp over drug debt

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Two people were arrested on arson charges Sunday after setting fire to a homeless camp over a drug debt, according to Bend Police.

Bend Police and Bend Fire & Rescue arrived at a vacant lot east of SE 15th Street and SE Lostine Circle in Bend around 6 p.m. after multiple 911 calls reported hearing explosions and seeing smoke.

Three fire engines assisted in extinguishing the flames, limiting it to one-tenth of an acre.

Officers found the victim of the fire, who said suspects Elicia Katz, 37, and Daniel Mendez, 37, had come to the camp due to a drug debt.

Sgt. R.C. Bigelow said the victim told officers Katz poured gasoline around the camp and lit it, causing the fire to spread quickly nearby.

The two suspects left the scene, and officers confronted Mendez near another camp near Brosterhous Road.

He ran from the area and officers chased him on foot, assisted by police K-9 Vegas with Bend Police and K-9 Ronin with the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office.

Officers contained Mendez near SW Hayes Avenue, where he resisted arrest and was subdued by less-lethal OC spray, Bigelow said.

He obeyed officers after being confronted by K-9 Vegas, and was examined by St. Charles Bend and Bend Fire for the OC application.

Officers then found Katz near Brosterhous Road and SE Clay Pigeon, where she was arrested without incident and also given medical care from Bend Fire and St. Charles Bend.

The two were booked at the Deschutes County Jail.

Katz was booked under the following charges: 

Arson I

Reckless Endangering

Reckless Burning

Criminal Mischief I

Mendez was booked under the following charges:  

Conspiracy to commit Arson I

Conspiracy to commit Reckless Endangering

Conspiracy to commit Reckless Burning

Conspiracy to commit Criminal Mischief I

Escape III

Resisting Arrest

Interfering with a Police Officer

 

 

 

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