A 34-year-old man on probation was arrested by Santa Rosa police Friday in connection with the arson at St. Rose Catholic Church a few blocks from the man’s residence, police said Sunday.
Detectives investigating four small fires inside the newer wing of the church at 575 B Street on Thursday developed a lead Friday evening that led to a search of the man’s residence, Sgt. Marcus Sprague said in a press release.
Evidence related to the arson was found inside the residence and Yovan David Ayon was taken into custody for questioning, Sprague said. Ayon, who was on probation related to arrests and convictions for narcotics possession and assault and battery, was booked into Sonoma County Jail on suspicion of felony arson and violation of probation.
Firefighters quickly put out the small fires near the altar in the church’s modern wing, which is connected to the 114-year-old stone church building facing B Street. Fire officials said the blazes appeared to have been intentionally set and estimated the damage at $5,000.