HOLLYWOOD—A transient responsible for starting a fire at an apartment complex that was under construction in Hollywood was charged in court on Wednesday, June 14. The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office announced that Benicio Garcia, 20, was charged with two counts each of arson of an inhabited structure and arson of a structure.
On June 12, a fire was reported at an apartment building under construction in the 400 block of North Helitrope Drive. The fire destroyed the complex and caused damage to two other structures in the area. There were no reports of anyone inside the building besides Garcia at the time of the fire. One fighter was injured while battling the blaze.
The suspect was spotted by witnesses outside the building as the fire transpired. He was arrested by officials from the Los Angeles Police Department. Garcia’s case is being prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Rachel Bowers of the Arson and Explosives Section.
If convicted, Garcia faces a possible maximum sentence of 12 years and four months in state prison. The case is still under investigation by the Los Angeles City Fire Department and the Los Angeles Police Department’s Rampart Division.