Good Samaritan Recounts Taking Down Potential Firestarter - NBC Southern California

Good Samaritan Recounts Taking Down Potential Firestarter

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Man Becomes Easter Sunday Hero and Prevents Brush Fire

    Bystanders took action after they watched a man set fire to a Sepulveda Pass hillside by pinning down the suspect until police got there. (Published Tuesday, April 23, 2019)

    A good Samaritan who took down a potential fire starter says the fear of another massive wildfire forced him to take action.

    Behind the wheel of an SUV, Richard Lazenby says he saw a man thought to be setting fires in the Sepulveda Pass on Sunday.

    "I said, 'What the eff are you doing?' He turns and looks at me and says, 'I'm effing destroying everything.'"

    Fearing the worst Lazenby went after the man.

    "We stumbled over into this brush on the side and I finally got on top of him, pinned his arms down and sat on top of him," he said.

    Lazenby was with his wife and kids on their way home from Easter church service when the incident happened Sunday. They remember the Skirball Fire from December 2017 forced evacuations around the Getty Center. The Lazenbys left their home in Beverly Crest that day. Richard didn't want a repeat.

    "I'm proud that I did it. I'm proud that I was able to hopefully stop more destruction. And that my kids could see that sometimes being a leader and doing the right thing can be dirty work."

    He held the unidentified man down for 15 minutes until Los Angeles police arrived, only letting the suspect sit up for a moment, when he promised not to fightback anymore. Lazenby says the fight to protect his neighborhood was worth it.