[UPDATED] Police arrested a Texas man who they say ignited four arson fires along the 210 Freeway corridor in Pasadena, as well as attacked and seriously injured another man with a hammer over the course of two hours on Sunday evening.
David William Powell, 40, of Houston, was arrested on suspicion of arson and attempted murder, according to Pasadena police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
The string of crimes began around 6 p.m., when two residential fires broke out nearly simultaneously at Corson Street and Chester Avenue, as well as at Corson Street and Holliston Avenue, just down the road.
Video from the scene showed flames engulfing a detached garage on the Chester Avenue property. The Holliston Avenue home also sustained significant damage and all of its residents were displaced as a result, officials said.
Around the same time, police received a report that a homeless man in his 50s had been attacked with a hammer nearby at Corson Street and Allen Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. Sean Dawkins said.
The victim was treated for major injuries to his head and neck, Dawkins said. Investigators learned the attacker had fled the area in an SUV.
Two more fires ignited in the same vicinity at around 8 p.m., according to Dawkins. They took place at a construction site in the 700 block of East Walnut Street and outside a vacant home in the 1800 block of Locust Street, Pasadena police Lt. Mario Ortiz said. Both fires remained relatively small and caused only minor damage.
While investigating the second two fires, police spotted an SUV and a person matching the description provided in the earlier hammer attack, Dawkins said. The man ran away as officers approached.
Police quickly captured the man, later identified as Powell, he said. Inside his SUV, police found the hammer believed to have been used in the attack, as well as evidence linking Powell to the fires.
A motive for the crimes was not clear, Dawkins added.
No injuries were reported as a result of the fires.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, bail for Powell was set at $1 million pending his initial court appearance, which was yet to be scheduled Monday morning.
Anyone with information can reach the Pasadena Police Department at (626) 744-4501. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.