Jun 5, 2013 7:40 PM by Sean Mooney

Charges dropped for man accused of Marana brush fires

UPDATE: The charges against a suspect arrested on charges of setting the brush fires detailed below have been dropped.

MARANA - A suspected arsonist is under arrest, charged with setting two brush fires in as many nights, in the Santa Cruz Riverbed near Cortaro Road.

Marana police say they received tips, after a brushfire burned Monday night in the riverbed, that the blaze may have been intentionally set. When they closed in on a suspect on Tuesday afternoon little did they know that the riverbed was about to go up again.

Marana police say information they received led them to a suspect who they caught doing graffiti on a wall at a location near the Santa Cruz River around 3 p.m. on Tuesady. Police say they cited 24-year-old Tyler Christopher Shotts for criminal damage and let him go.

Marana Police Sgt. Tim Brunenkart, says around 6:15 p.m., 911 calls started coming in saying someone was on a bike riding along the river bike path starting fires. "We actually received multiple 911 calls that there were additional fires being set as we were looking for him. The description matched Mr. Shotts and then at that time we realized that he was going up and down the Santa Cruz River lighting fires," said Brunenkart.

Marana Police say Shotts was taken in to custody at his home on the northwest side.

Northwest Fire says a total of three fires were set in the riverbed. Tyler Christopher Shotts has been charged with three counts of reckless burning and two counts of endangerment. He was taken to the Pima County Jail.


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