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Man accused of setting Elkhart Police Department squad car on fire

Man arrested for setting fire to Elkhart police car

ELKHART, Ind. (WISH) — A 32-year-old man has been arrested following two separate arson incidents early Saturday morning in Elkhart, which police said included setting a police vehicle on fire.

Abraham Villegas Jr., of Elkhart, is accused of setting fire to both a police squad car and attempting to ignite a gasoline well at a Marathon Gas station, the Elkhart Police Department said in a release on Monday.

The incidents happened around 5:30 a.m. on Saturday when police responded to reports of arson at the Marathon Gas station located at 1218 S. Main St. The gas station owner reported that a man had attempted to ignite a gasoline well, causing fire damage to its interior, before leaving the scene.

As the officer took the report about the gas station incident, officers got another report that a police vehicle parked in the south lot of the Elkhart Police Department had been set on fire. Authorities attempted to extinguish the flames as other officers searched for the suspect.

Officers later arrested Villegas near an Elkhart fire station on East Street, police said. An officer suffered a minor injury to the hand as a result of Villegas allegedly resisting officers.

Villegas was arrested and taken to the Elkhart County Jail on preliminary charges of two felony counts of arson, and one felony count of resisting law enforcement resulting in injury. A judge at Elkhart Circuit Court set his bond at $75,000.

The case is now under review by the Elkhart County Prosecutor’s Office.

Authorities did not disclose a motive for the arsons.