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A man believed responsible for setting a fire near the American River canyon this morning was apprehended by a Placer County Sheriff’s helicopter crew member as the suspect attempted to flee the area.

At 11:04 a.m., a resident on Shirland Tract Road called 911 to report a brush fire in a neighbor’s field. She also reported seeing a man jumping fences in the neighborhood. A sheriff’s lieutenant was the first to arrive in the area and he yelled at the man to stop. The man, Luke Carter, 24, of Vacaville, refused, and continued to flee from the lieutenant.


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The sheriff office’s helicopter crew was training in the immediate area and landed in front of the suspect’s path of travel. A sergeant from the helicopter confronted the suspect, and a fight ensued. The lieutenant caught up to the pair and was able to deploy his Taser. The suspect was then taken into custody.

Carter was taken to a local hospital for medical clearance, and then transported to the Placer County Jail where he was booked on felony charges of battery on a peace officer and arson.

Arson investigators from the sheriff’s office and Cal Fire located evidence in the field to confirm the arson. The fire was contained to about one half-acre and no structures were damaged.

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