Person of Interest Identified in Arsons at Golden Gate Park - NBC Bay Area
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Person of Interest Identified in Arsons at Golden Gate Park

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    Fire crews respond to a fire in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. (Nov. 9, 2018)

    Police have identified a person of interest in a string of arson fires at San Francisco's Golden Gate Park last month, which all occurred over the course of 15 hours.

    The six blazes began Nov. 9, with the initial fires being reported near the park's polo fields and near the park's casting pond around 6:15 p.m.

    The last blaze was reported the following morning around 9 a.m., police said.

    Although no injuries were reported and no buildings were damaged, fire investigators deemed the fires suspicious.

    Days later, on Nov. 14, rangers with the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department responded to the Stow Lake Boathouse, where they encountered 26-year-old Anthony Jon Wengerd, police said.

    Wengerd had a warrant for his arrest in connection with an October incident, in which he's accused of assaulting a gardener at Golden Gate Park with a tree branch. In addition to the warrant for his arrest, Wengerd was also issued a stay-away order, mandating that he remain at least 150 yards from the boathouse, which he violated.

    Park rangers have since served Wengerd with a court order mandating him to stay at least 150 yards from the entire park.

    According to jail records, Wengerd was arrested again Dec. 2 on suspicion of robbery, and he remains in custody without bail.

    Although Wengerd has been identified as a person of interest in the arson fires, he has not been arrested because he is not being considered a suspect at this time.

    Police said the investigation remains ongoing, and anyone with information is asked to call the police's anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or to text tips to TIP411 with "SFPD" in the beginning of the text.

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