The Herald Bulletin

May 17, 2014

Man pleads not guilty to arson in California fire


The Associated Press

SAN DIEGO — A 57-year-old man has been charged with arson in one of 10 wildfires that swept the San Diego region this week.

Alberto Serrato pleaded not guilty Friday in connection with a 105-acre fire in suburban Oceanside — one of the smaller fires. The fire started Wednesday and is fully contained.

Tanya Sierra, a spokeswoman for the San Diego County district attorney's office, says Serrato wasn't seen igniting a fire but witnesses saw him adding dead brush onto smoldering bushes that flamed up. The spokeswoman says he has not been connected to any other fire.

The spokeswoman says Serrato was arrested Thursday in Oceanside and faces up to seven years in prison if convicted. She didn't know if he has a lawyer who could comment.