MAN CHARGED WITH ARSON AND AGGRAVATED ASSAULT ON A PEACE OFFICER AFTER THROWING FLAMING TOWELS AT OCSD STANTON SUBSTATION AND RAMMING INTO OCSD PATROL VEHICLE

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was charged with arson and assaulting a peace officer after throwing flaming towels at an Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) substation in Stanton and ramming into an OCSD patrol vehicle.

Defendant Charges Maximum Sentence Court Date
Nicholas Lam, 36, Stanton Charged on Jan. 3, 2018, with:

Felony

  • Arson
  • Possession of flammable material
  • Aggravated assault on a peace officer

Misdemeanor

  • Resisting or obstructing a peace officer
Six years and four months in state prison plus one year in county jail Arraignment

Jan. 5, 2018,

Time to be determined

Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana

Circumstances of the Case

  • On Dec. 31, 2017, Lam was contacted by OCSD deputies and offered assistance after his vehicle stalled on north Beach Boulevard near Orangewood Avenue in Stanton. Lam is accused of yelling profanities at the deputies, declining assistance, and driving away.
  • At approximately 12:15 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2018, Lam is accused of soaking two towels in gasoline, lighting them on fire, and throwing them over the south wall of the OCSD substation in Stanton, causing a marked black and white OCSD patrol vehicle to catch fire and sustain minor burns to the rear passenger door.
  • OCSD deputies at the scene utilized a fire extinguisher from another patrol vehicle and extinguished the fire after multiple attempts.
  • Lam is accused of fleeing the scene in a dark-colored sedan, which OCSD deputies recognized from their previous encounter.
  • While fleeing, the defendant is accused of ramming his vehicle into an OCSD patrol car and resisting arrest.

Prosecutor: Deputy District Attorney Angela Hong, Special Prosecutions Unit

Orange County District Attorney / Case #18WF0024 / January 5, 2018

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