Hit-and-run suspect accused of arson, burglary

A person was hospitalized after allegedly starting a fire and trying to break into a home before he crashed his vehicle.

At around 7:28 a.m. on Wednesday, April 3, Seaside Police responded to a single-vehicle crash in the 300 block of 8th Avenue in Seaside. After crashing into a fence and causing damage, the driver was reportedly seen fleeing on foot. A search perimeter was established in the immediate area.

The search ended in the 400 block of 10th Avenue with the suspect’s surrender. During the surrender, officers saw flames coming from a detached garage for which the suspect had walked away. Seaside Fire & Rescue and Gearhart Fire Department were called to the scene.

The garage owner reportedly extinguished the fire with a personally owned fire extinguisher, minimizing the damage. A statement from the City of Seaside said it was believed the suspect started the fire and ultimately sustained self-inflicted injuries from the flames.

MEDIX Ambulance responded to treat the suspect, who was later taken to Columbia Memorial Hospital and then a Portland-area hospital due to the serious nature of the injuries.

The suspect allegedly trespassed across several properties during the attempt to fell the crash scene, entering the garage and starting the fire, according to the City’s statement. The City also said the suspect tried to break into a residence on the same property as the garage.

Multiple charges are pending, including failure to perform the duties of a driver (hit-and-run), criminal trespass, burglary and arson.

The suspect, whose identity was not released, was not arrested because of the need for medical treatment, according to the City’s statement.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Officer Vaughan of the Seaside Police Department at (503) 738-6311.