Man, 37, Arrested for Lighting Fires at Sacramento Schools

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Russell’s booking photo.


Authorities have arrested a 37-year-old Douglas Russell in connection to fires at Sacramento schools.

Since late June, there have been numerous fires at south Sacramento school campuses: YPS Academy School along Land Park Drive, John Sloat Elementary School along Candlewood Way and Caroline Wenzel Elementary School along Greenhaven Drive.

The fires at John Sloat and Caroline Wenzel were at the school’s playground structures.

Fire crews also doused a trash can and bench fire at Parkway Oaks Park along S. Land Park Drive.

All the fires were found to have been deliberately set, Sacramento Fire Department Investigators say.

Russell had been on the radar of investigators after video footage showed him lighting the fire at YPS Academy School. He interviewed by investigators on August 9 about the incident and arrested, but quickly posted bail and was released on August 11.

Investigators brought in Russell again on August 14 to be interviewed in connection to the fires at Parkway Oaks Park and John Sloat Elementary. He is said to have divulged intimate details of those fires to investigators.

Wednesday, Russell was once again arrested after investigators obtained a warrant from the district attorneys’ office.

Russell now faces two felony counts of arson.

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