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Orange County

Man Is Jailed After 2 Fires

Police say blazes were set at a Buena Park bank and a nightclub; 20-year-old is charged with attempted murder and arson.

November 17, 2002|Claire Luna | Times Staff Writer

A 20-year-old man has been charged with attempted murder and arson in connection with two fires set early Saturday in Buena Park at a bank and a nightclub he had been kicked out of a few hours earlier, authorities said.

Molina Diaz Oliverio of Buena Park is being held at the city jail on $1-million bail.

Club staff members reported seeing a black truck leaving the area after the fire started and spotted the vehicle again while firefighters were extinguishing the blaze, Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Stephen Miller said.

Police stopped the truck and arrested Oliverio, who was wearing an orange vest. Employees said he had been pepper-sprayed and thrown out after trying to start a fight, Buena Park Police Lt. Terry Barnum said.

"He had made a comment before he left that he was going to come back and bomb the place," Barnum said. "It's probably not too smart to do something like that when you're wearing a bright orange vest."

The first fire was reported about 2:15 a.m. at a Bank of America branch at Commonwealth Avenue and Beach Boulevard, where a blaze had engulfed an ATM, Miller said.

Twenty minutes after firefighters had extinguished the bank fire, they were called to Ozz, a dance club on Manchester Boulevard one-third of a mile from the bank, where the facade and an exit door were in flames, Miller said.

That fire was extinguished within minutes and caused an estimated $5,000 damage. None of the four employees inside the closed club were injured.

Oliverio was charged with attempted murder because of the fire's location, Miller said.

"I don't know if his intent was to cause any harm," Miller said. "However, the fire was started at an exit door, and that's where employees need to come out."

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