FERNDALE, Wash. — First responders were dispatched to behind a business at 3rd Avenue and Vista Drive in Ferndale about 12:50am on Monday, August 29th, due to reports of a car fire.
According to the Ferndale Police Department (FPD), officer arrived to find flames coming from the area of the gas tank filler door. The officer discovered a broken window and a suspect inside the building. The suspect appeared to be covered in blood and fled on foot.
Whatcom County Fire District 7 Fire Chief Larry Hoffman told Whatcom News that firefighters arrived to find the left-rear of the vehicle on fire and the fuel filler door open. The fire appeared to have been intentionally set.
According to Hoffman, the suspect was nearly struck by a responding fire truck when he ran out onto Main Street.
According to radio traffic, Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office and Lummi Nation Police, along with a Bellingham Police Department K9 unit, arrived to assist Ferndale Police officers in locating the suspect a few blocks away.
FPD said the K-9 unit was able to track and locate the suspect in the downtown Ferndale area. The suspect refused to comply with officers and was eventually taken into custody by physical force.
Hoffman said emergency medical service personnel responded to the scene of the arrest about 1:30am, treating the man and releasing him to police.
Mark William Larson, III, age 25 and from Ferndale, was booked into Whatcom County Jail by Ferndale Police charged with suspicion of 2nd degree burglary, malicious mischief with damage exceeding $5,000 and 2nd degree arson.
FPD said the damage to the vehicle was estimated at $40,000 and there was additional damage to the interior of the restaurant, estimated at $20,000.
Larson was scheduled to make a preliminary appearance Monday afternoon and was being held without bond until then.