Police: Man arrested after trying to set fire to downtown Santa Rosa movie theater

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A man suspected of trying to set fire to the Roxy theater in downtown Santa Rosa was arrested Saturday night, police said.

Michael Alexander, 33, was booked into Sonoma County Jail on suspicion of attempted arson, assault with caustic chemicals and making criminal threats, Santa Rosa Police Sgt. Ryan Hepp said.

Witnesses told police Alexander, who’s homeless, had poured gasoline from a gas can on an outside wall of the Third Street theater building Saturday. He then tried to pour gasoline on an employee who attempted to stop him, police officials said.

Alexander also tried to set fire to the building with a lighter but didn’t succeed, police said. He was walking away when officers arrived, and bystanders pointed police in his direction.

Alexander didn’t comply when police ordered him to stop walking, but an officer “was able to push him to the ground and detain him,” Hepp said in a news statement.

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