Police say a man set fire and damaged a garage he was living in after the city ordered him to vacate the structure in Zion due to numerous violations.
The Zion Police Department and Zion Fire Rescue Department responded around 12 p.m. on July 13 to the 2800 block of Eshcol Avenue for a report of an arson fire in progress.
Police officers encountered Fernando P. Zelaya-Escobar, 24, of Zion, setting fire to the detached garage on a residential property, Zion Police Department Lt. Derek Zaloudek said.
Zelaya-Escobar attempted to fight the arriving officers but was “quickly immobilized” and arrested.
Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire without injuries to anyone or damage to nearby structures.
An investigation revealed that Zelaya-Escobar was recently removed from a nearby family home after experiencing “numerous violent mental health concerns,” Zaloudek said.
Zelaya-Escobar was allowed to reside in the garage by different family members renting the property.
He was not allowed to live in their residence because of his behavior.
Zelaya-Escobar was later required by the City of Zion to vacate the garage due to numerous code and rental agreement violations, Zaloudek said.
Zelaya-Escobar allegedly threatened the property owner and said that he would set fire to the garage.
The Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office approved arson and resisting a peace officer charges against Zelaya-Escobar.
Zaloudek said Zelaya-Escobar resisted and fought with police officers and correctional officers when he was transported to the Lake County Jail the following day.
Zelaya-Escobar appeared for a bond hearing and was ordered held on a $50,000 bond.