Prosecutors declined today to file criminal charges against a 19-year-old man arrested for allegedly setting patches of vegetation ablaze in Escondido as emergency personnel struggled to control devastating wildfires sweeping across the San Diego area.
Isaiah David Silva was taken into custody Thursday evening, along with a 17-year-old boy.
Officials from the District Attorney's Office said there wasn't sufficient evidence to suggest that Silva started a fire.
The 17-year-old boy was scheduled for a detention hearing in Juvenile Court today, but it was unclear what charges, if any, he faces. Prosecutors said they were forbidden by law to comment on the case against the juvenile.
A witness who spotted two people as they allegedly set a fire near South Escondido Boulevard called police about 6:30 p.m. Thursday and then extinguished the flames, police Lt. Neal Griffin said.
About an hour later, another person made an emergency call from an area near Westfield North County mall and said he was chasing two youths he saw trying to start a fire in Kit Carson Park near Interstate 15 and Bear Valley Parkway, according to Griffin.
The two suspects had similar descriptions to those from the first fire.
Officers went to that area and arrested Silva and the teenager from Escondido.
Griffin said there was no immediate evidence linking the suspects to any of the large wildfires that have blackened about 20,000 acres and destroyed or damaged dozens of residences and businesses across the county.
—City News Service