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Ventura County

Police arrest protester accused of vandalism, arson in Port Hueneme

Michael Garcia Lazo
Port Hueneme Police Department
Michael Garcia Lazo

PORT HUENEME, Calif. -- Port Hueneme police arrested one man accused of vandalism and arson on Wednesday early morning.

Police arrested Michael Garcia Lazo for vandalism, arson and resisting arrest.

On Wednesday at around 2:27 a.m., Port Hueneme Police Department officers responded to reports of the breaking of windows at the Port Hueneme Historical Museum located at 200 Market Street.

Officers arrived on scene and located a subject, later identified as Lazo, near burning trash cans in the back of the museum.

Lazo fled from officers resulting in a pursuit.

Ventura County Fire Department put out the dumpster fires in the back of the museum.

During the pursuit, officers deployed a tazer after Lazo allegedly "reached forcefully into his pants pocket" and ignored commands to stop, police said.

Police say Lazo was treated by EMS at the scene.

While in custody, police say Lazo made statements to officers that he was "protesting" by breaking the windows and he also admitted to starting a fire in one of the trash dumpsters in the back of the museum.

Lazo was booked into the Ventura County Jail.

Port Hueneme Chief of Police Andrew Salinas gave the following statement on the Department's Facebook page:

“The tragic death of George Floyd is an absolute outrage and incomprehensible and does not define the brave men and women that do this job with pride and professionalism every single day… Public trust and accountability is crucial to a safe, inclusive community. We recognize and value the sanctity of human life and we believe all persons should be treated humanely and with dignity.”

Chief Andrew Salinas, Port Hueneme Police Department

The Port Hueneme Police Department say that it recognizes and understands the importance for its citizens to express their desire for a more equitable society through protest. 

The Department say it understands that peaceful protesting and expressing one's frustrations is fundamental to society and will be supported by the Department but they will not tolerate opportunists, looters, rioters and gang members as it can result to tragic and destructive incidences.

Port Hueneme Police Department say they have doubled their patrol staff and will continue to do so every night until the civil unrest is under control.

Crime / Safety
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Julia Nguyen

Julia Nguyen is an assignment editor and social media coordinator for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Julia, click here.

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