LOS ANGELES (CBS) —  Los Angeles police released a surveillance video at a 5:15 p.m. Sunday news conference as they investigate the string of 40 arsons that blistered the Hollywood and North Hollywood areas over three nights at the end of 2011.

A burly man, about 5’8″ to 6’2″, walking with a noticeable limp, is shown walking down Hollywood Boulevard at the time several of the fires were set.

The man, police say, also has dark hair, a receding hairline and a ponytail. The person of interest is described as being in his late 20s or early 30s.

The video release comes as dozens of detectives from the Major Crimes and Robbery-Homicide divisions spent night and day working on the crimes, including analyzing security video camera pictures.

Earlier in the morning, LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said the agency was asking residents to keep their porch and garage lights on at night and report suspicious activity to help contain the fires.

At the Sunday press conference, officials said as of 8:35 p.m. Saturday night, the arsonist may have caused as many as 43 separate fires.

Edward Lawrence, reporting for CBS2 and KCAL9, said the man is said to be walking calmly with his hands never leaving his pockets.

The video was shot in Hollywood near Orange.

Authorities at the news conference said their person of interest has been seen at several of the locations where fires were started and there are additional videos that are not being released that makes them interested in locating this person.

Lawrence also reported that the federal government is now actively involved in the investigation. A task force of 30 Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearm (ATF) agents are now joining the LAPD and LAFD in the hopes of catching the arsonist or arsonists.

Police Sunday said “at least” two people were responsible for the arsons.

One suspect is in custody, said police. And officer Sara Faden says he is believed to be responsible for at least the first two in the series of arsons.

The suspect was identified as 22-year-old Samuel Arrington of Sun Valley, who was arrested by Los Angeles police near La Brea Avenue and Sunset Boulevard about 1:30 a.m. Thursday for allegedly setting a fire in a garbage can outside a 7-Eleven and trying to ignite a fuel tank on a truck, police said.

Arrington was also suspected in a 1:12 a.m. trash bin fire at 1444 Poinsettia Place and a carport fire at 1434 Fuller Ave., where four vehicles and an apartment were damaged, city firefighters said Thursday.

Arrington, booked on suspicion of attempted arson, was jailed in lieu of $75,000 bail.

A facebook page called Arson Watch LA has also sprung up hoping to create leads.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments (32)
  1. Woody McBreairty says:

    I honestly think the death penalty is appropriate in cases such as this. Anyone who is convicted of imposing such destruction and hardship on so many other people just because they feel ike it, is sick & deserves no mercy from anyone. Also they are not worth the cost of imprisoning. The have already caused too much damage to society and if not found & stopped, they will likely spend a lifetime of destroying other people’s lives on whatever whim occurs in their twisted deranged minds. There is no place for them in a civilized world.

    1. bwunderlick says:

      Your ideas intrigue me, do you have a newsletter I can subscribe to?

    2. black guy says:

      Another b3aner suspect. No surprise really

      1. groapair says:

        what do you call a white chick that goes out with blacks? toilet papper!! GET IT! LOL

  2. Uhoh says:

    Ban lighter and matches sales. I’m being sarcastic for the slow people.

  3. nancy says:

    woody, the death penalty appropriate for cases such as this? Death to these morons means nothing. How about rounding them up and making them rebuild the homes and pick up every ash on the ground they destroyed. Sad part is you can not replace lives or meaningful things forever lost to others.

  4. whanass says:

    Uhoh I would trust a slow person with matches more than I would trust a sarcastic one like you with a what fast paced lighter. soooo uncool

  5. Bob says:

    Uhoh Ban stupid comments from slow people meaning you

  6. David R says:

    That is a very distinct walk. Left leg flares out. Looks like a prison walk.

  7. Chris says:

    With the technology they have in video cameras these days…this is the best they have???????

  8. Greg says:


    1. Bwunderlick says:

      The liberal media keeps protecting them but WE SURROUND THEM!

      1. sonny crocket says:

        If anything the marxo-fasc!st libt@rd media protects and coddles all of the worthless b3an3rs down here.

        And don’t forget, whitey is still 50% of socal and that’s not including white spaniards(people that cant stand sp!cs pilfering their langauge!).

    2. pedro mcjesus says:


      case closed

  9. Cam M says:


    1. Josh Butts says:

      Damn straight!

  10. Get Real says:

    OMG. However will I protect my precious BMW

  11. SF veteran says:

    That dude looks and walks more like latino, to me.

    1. funwithpizza says:

      Agreed. Clearly a mexican burrito

  12. Vibrani Nora Amrani says:

    Media coverage is probably one thing arsonists get off on, but it is unnerving to hear sirens for the past two hours, helicopters flying around, knowing there is a fire, and yet not one news station is covering it! Not even on Twitter. We should know where these fires are.

  13. Ruth says:

    I think all of your comments are LAME…The main concern is HE NEEDS TO BE CAUGHT….most of your comments are about the color of his skin…HIS RACE ISNT IMPORTANT* YOU SIMPLE MINDED IDIOTS ….

  14. Ruth says:

    I do agree with Nancy on that….And after they rebuild & clean up the mess they made~ Put them into a BBQ Pit TIE EM TO A STICK & SLOWLY COOK TILL WELL DONE.

  15. Sharron Popovich says:

    Prison walk YES. Also note how he keeps his left hand half-concealed under the sleeve of the somewhat oversized (“inmate-style” and probably denim) jacket.

    Any connection to a prison Aryan gang targetting vehicles/residences of Jews? How would he and a pratner in crime know? Lots of possible avenues of info for Jewish-sounding names and related addressed. West Hwd. locales would also fit for anti-gay sentimnts. My understanding is arsonists don’t usually work together. So with 2 of them, a gang tie-in seems logical. And is there a pattern to their targets…and “whatever-the-hell” message they’re trying to send? Bet there’s more of them than just these two.

  16. alice says:

    gata teach this guy what happens when u play with fire…. u get BURNED!

  17. J Johnson says:

    Can only see part of the arsonist video because the darn Auto-refresh kicks in before before you can see the rest of the video. Clearly CBS news does not care not will ever turn off the Auto refresh even for something this important.

  18. lissa bernet says:

    maybe is an ex police officer.it is not a surprise that the investigators blame the wrong person. anyway the investigators are not good only they want money from the taxpayers it is so many people in jail innocent the law in california is corrupted 100% i think and the investigators have an small brain like a peanut they protectc the real criminal.it is so sad but is my point of view.

  19. Glad It's Not Me says:

    He’s only targeting Jews and gays – that’s a relief. It’s not often the brothas catch a break in LA

  20. Typenegrell says:

    Drop in on us contemporary to buy more low-down and facts at all events Come to see us at times to grasp more information and facts anyway kołowrotki

  21. The Blogger says:

    Give it a few days & he will get caught.


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