On October 13, 2021, at approximately 6:05 pm, Antioch Police Department patrol officers were dispatched to a homeless encampment located near the intersection of Hillcrest Avenue and Wild Horse Drive on report of an assault with a deadly weapon.
While responding to the incident, officers learned the suspect (later identified as Brian Dean, 40) struck the victim in the head with a metal pipe and then lit a rag on fire, tossing it into the victim’s encampment.
The lit rag fully engulfed the encampment and spread to the adjacent hillside, threatening several homes on Spaulding Street. Firefighters from the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District responded and quickly extinguished the fire before it spread to the adjacent homes. An alert resident took a photograph of the suspect as he was fleeing on a distinctive bicycle and provided it to officers at the scene.
At about 8:15 pm, Antioch Police Corporal James Colley spotted a matching individual on the distinctive bicycle crossing Hillcrest Avenue at Larkspur Drive. He was detained without incident and found to be in possession of an incendiary device. Officers placed Dean under arrest for three felonies, including assault with a deadly weapon, arson, and possession of an incendiary device – he was booked at the Contra Costa County Jail in Martinez.
This fire was the second one at the same location in the last two days. The victim sustained minor injuries and was treated at the scene by paramedics.
This incident is being jointly investigated by the Antioch Police Department and the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District Arson Investigator.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Antioch Police Department non-emergency line at (925)778-2441. You may also text-a-tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using the key word ANTIOCH.