Crime

Man barricades himself inside Fresno motel. Then he started a fire, police say

Fresno CA man barricades self in motel, sets fire, cops say

The man identified as 38-year-old Esteban Hernandez began throwing furniture and other items out of his second story motel room at the Ambassador Inn in the 1800 block of Olive Avenue around 12:30 p.m., cops say.
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The man identified as 38-year-old Esteban Hernandez began throwing furniture and other items out of his second story motel room at the Ambassador Inn in the 1800 block of Olive Avenue around 12:30 p.m., cops say.

A man was arrested on Wednesday after threatening security guards, barricading himself in his motel room and starting a fire, according to Fresno police.

The man identified as 38-year-old Esteban Hernandez began throwing furniture and other items out of his second-story room at the Ambassador Inn, on Olive Avenue just west of Highway 99, around 12:30 p.m., according to Lt. Mark Hudson.

When security officers at the motel asked him to stop, he swung a pipe at them, Hudson said. Police were then called out to the scene.

Hernandez barricaded himself in the room and a police negotiator was brought in to talk with him, Hudson said. The negotiator was on scene speaking with Hernandez until he set fire to the room around 4 p.m.

Hernandez then broke a window and left the room before he was arrested by police, officers said.

The fire was put out by the room’s sprinklers but Fresno Fire Department did respond to the scene, police said.

Renters of neighboring rooms were asked to evacuate their rooms during the incident but none are expected to be displaced, police said.

Hudson said the man was arrested on suspicion of arson, assault with a deadly weapon and felony vandalism. Hernandez was on probation for a misdemeanor domestic violence charge, police said.

Reporter Thaddeus Miller has covered cities in the central San Joaquin Valley since 2010, writing about everything from breaking news to government and police accountability. A native of Fresno, he joined The Fresno Bee in 2019 after time in Merced and Los Banos.
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