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Elkhart police arrest man suspected of setting squad car on fire

(Photo supplied/Elkhart Police Department)

The Elkhart Police Department arrested a male suspect who allegedly set fire to an Elkhart Police Department squad car and gas station oil well early Saturday morning.

It was around 5:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 22, an Elkhart Police Department officer dispatched to the Marathon Gas station at 1218 S. Main St, Elkhart, on the report of a possible arson.

The owner reported that a male suspect tried to ignite a gasoline well on fire earlier that morning, causing fire damage to the interior of the well. The suspect then left the area.

While taking this report, the officer received notice that a male subject set a police vehicle on fire in the south lot of the Elkhart Police Department. At about 5:45 a.m., an on-duty officer in the parking garage at 175 East Marion Street heard a sound consistent with that of a car tire popping. Upon further investigation, the officer located a squad car on the first floor of the parking garage that was on fire.

Officers tried to extinguish the flames while other officers attempted to locate the suspect. An officer located the alleged male suspect in front of Elkhart Central Fire. The male suspect resisted being placed in handcuffs, causing injury to an officer’s hand. The suspect was subsequently taken into custody and transported to the Elkhart County Jail, where he was booked in connection with both of these arson incidents.

The suspect, Abraham Villegas, Jr., 32, of Elkhart, was arrested and booked into the Elkhart County Jail on two preliminary counts of Arson and Resisting Law Enforcement Resulting in Injury. His bond was set at $75,000.

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