Police are looking for a suspected serial arsonist who tried to set two men on fire in the early hours of Wednesday, May 13. He succeeded in setting a homeless man on fire on H Street NE and may have set up to four fires in the H Street or Trinidad area. He is wanted in relation to charges of Assault with Intent to Kill.
At around 12:38 a.m. Wednesday, May 13, a man reported that he was on the 1300 block of H Street NE when an unknown suspect walked by and threw a shirt doused with an unknown flammable liquid. The shirt landed on him, but the victim was able to get away without any injury.
The victim described the suspect as a black male, approximately 5 foot 5 inches tall and weighing around 150 lbs, wearing a tan coat, blue jeans and a black hat.
About a half hour later, at around 1:11 a.m. May 13, police were called to the 900 block of H Street NE for another report of a fire. A homeless man had suffered burns to his lower extremities, in addition to his personal belongings being destroyed. The victim was transported to an area hospital for treatment of his injuries, which were not considered life-threatening, DC FEMS said.
The second victim was unable to provide a description of the suspect, but police said that they are considering the two incidents are similar enough to be considered related.
#DCsBravest Fire investigators are currently investigating 4 incidents between 12:30-2 AM in the H St. Corridor/Trinidad areas. Our Arson Task Force is following up on any leads, and anyone with information is urged to call our Arson Tip Line at 202-673-2776.
— DC Fire and EMS #StayHomeDC (@dcfireems) May 13, 2020
A few minutes later, DC FEMS was called to two more fires in the area. At 1:22 a.m., they were called to a car fire on the 1300 block Florida Avenue NE, and at 1:38 a.m., they put out a front porch fire at an unoccupied house on the 1400 block Morse St NE. Investigation revealed that both were intentionally set.
These incidents are being actively investigated by detectives from the MPDC and DC Arson Task Force. if you have any private home security video that is potentially helpful to their investigation, please call the Arson Tip Line at 202-673-2776. Anyone who has knowledge of these incidents or applicable video should take no action but call police at (202) 727-9099 or text your tip to the Department’s Text Tip Line at 50411.
Crime Solvers of Washington, DC currently offers a reward of up to $1,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and indictment of the person or persons responsible for a crime committed in the District of Columbia.
May 14: This post has been updated to include photos released Friday of the suspect and the updated charges.