Man accused of burning Phoenix suburb's $40K Christmas tree - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Man accused of burning Phoenix suburb's $40K Christmas tree

Posted: Updated:
Photo: City of Mesa, Arizona Photo: City of Mesa, Arizona
MESA, Ariz. -

 Police in the city of Mesa near Phoenix say a man has been arrested on suspicion of arson and criminal damage for allegedly burning the city's $40,000 Christmas tree.
  
The nearly four-story tall tree is the focal point of Mesa's annual Christmas celebration.
  
It was destroyed by a fire early Wednesday that police say was intentionally set.
  
Police say 34-year-old Samuel Antone Johnson was found nearby and allegedly admitted to setting the "Merry Main Christmas Tree" on fire with a book of matches. Police say the man did not disclose a motive.
  
Johnson has been booked into jail on two felonies. It's unclear if he has a lawyer yet.
  
City officials say they're trying to quickly find a replacement tree to erect for the rest of the holiday season.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • 22-year-old Sandpoint man dies in Clayton 395 crash

    22-year-old Sandpoint man dies in Clayton 395 crash

    Saturday, July 21 2018 1:58 AM EDT2018-07-21 05:58:53 GMT

    STEVENS COUNTY, Wash. - Washington State Patrols responded to a fatal crash in Stevens County Friday evening. On SR-395 in Clayton near Mile Post 185, a vehicle crossed the center line and crashed head on with another car, killing the driver. The causing driver who was transported to the hospital is in custody for vehicular homicide. There were no other occupants of either vehicle. 

    >>

    STEVENS COUNTY, Wash. - Washington State Patrols responded to a fatal crash in Stevens County Friday evening. On SR-395 in Clayton near Mile Post 185, a vehicle crossed the center line and crashed head on with another car, killing the driver. The causing driver who was transported to the hospital is in custody for vehicular homicide. There were no other occupants of either vehicle. 

    >>
  • John Belmont fire in Mica up to 60% containment

    John Belmont fire in Mica up to 60% containment

    Sunday, July 22 2018 1:31 AM EDT2018-07-22 05:31:02 GMT

    MICA, Wash. - The John Belmont is now 60 percent contained. Crews say the fire reached 50-60 acres, but they have a line around 90 percent of the fire. They expect 3-4 days total for full suppression of the fire. Level 2 and 3 evacuations remain in place through the night into tomorrow morning. Red Cross has set up a shelter for evacuees at Bowdish Middle School in Spokane Valley.

    >>

    MICA, Wash. - The John Belmont is now 60 percent contained. Crews say the fire reached 50-60 acres, but they have a line around 90 percent of the fire. They expect 3-4 days total for full suppression of the fire. Level 2 and 3 evacuations remain in place through the night into tomorrow morning. Red Cross has set up a shelter for evacuees at Bowdish Middle School in Spokane Valley.

    >>
  • Spokane motorcyclist dies in DUI crash near Reardan

    Spokane motorcyclist dies in DUI crash near Reardan

    Saturday, July 21 2018 1:47 PM EDT2018-07-21 17:47:50 GMT

    REARDAN, Wash. -  A Spokane man died after crashing his motorcycle on Highway 2 near Reardan in a DUI incident Friday night. Gregory Sutton, 35 of Spokane, was traveling westbound on Highway 2 on his Honda motorcycle when he left the roadway and was ejected from the bike, landing in a ditch near Mile Post 262 in Lincoln County.

    >>

    REARDAN, Wash. -  A Spokane man died after crashing his motorcycle on Highway 2 near Reardan in a DUI incident Friday night. Gregory Sutton, 35 of Spokane, was traveling westbound on Highway 2 on his Honda motorcycle when he left the roadway and was ejected from the bike, landing in a ditch near Mile Post 262 in Lincoln County.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • John Belmont fire in Mica up to 60% containment

    John Belmont fire in Mica up to 60% containment

    Sunday, July 22 2018 1:31 AM EDT2018-07-22 05:31:02 GMT

    MICA, Wash. - The John Belmont is now 60 percent contained. Crews say the fire reached 50-60 acres, but they have a line around 90 percent of the fire. They expect 3-4 days total for full suppression of the fire. Level 2 and 3 evacuations remain in place through the night into tomorrow morning. Red Cross has set up a shelter for evacuees at Bowdish Middle School in Spokane Valley.

    >>

    MICA, Wash. - The John Belmont is now 60 percent contained. Crews say the fire reached 50-60 acres, but they have a line around 90 percent of the fire. They expect 3-4 days total for full suppression of the fire. Level 2 and 3 evacuations remain in place through the night into tomorrow morning. Red Cross has set up a shelter for evacuees at Bowdish Middle School in Spokane Valley.

    >>
  • Man who took hostages at supermarket in custody; 1 person killed

    Man who took hostages at supermarket in custody; 1 person killed

    Saturday, July 21 2018 10:51 PM EDT2018-07-22 02:51:17 GMT

    LOS ANGELES (AP) - Police believe a man involved in a standoff with officers at a Los Angeles supermarket shot his grandmother and girlfriend before firing at officers during a pursuit, then crashing outside the supermarket and running inside the store. Officer Mike Lopez, a police spokesman, says the man had fled from the scene after the Saturday afternoon shooting in South Los Angeles. 

    >>

    LOS ANGELES (AP) - Police believe a man involved in a standoff with officers at a Los Angeles supermarket shot his grandmother and girlfriend before firing at officers during a pursuit, then crashing outside the supermarket and running inside the store. Officer Mike Lopez, a police spokesman, says the man had fled from the scene after the Saturday afternoon shooting in South Los Angeles. 

    >>
  • Buckshot and L Road fires in Mattawa both nearing containment

    Buckshot and L Road fires in Mattawa both nearing containment

    Saturday, July 21 2018 7:37 PM EDT2018-07-21 23:37:00 GMT

    MATTAWA, Wash. - The Southeast Washington Interagency Incident Management Team says the Buckshot fire is now 93 percent contained Saturday afternoon. The Road L fire near the Vernita bridge is now 75 percent contained.

    >>

    MATTAWA, Wash. - The Southeast Washington Interagency Incident Management Team says the Buckshot fire is now 93 percent contained Saturday afternoon. The Road L fire near the Vernita bridge is now 75 percent contained.

    >>