Hotel arson/standoff suspect's bail set at $100,000

He is also suspect in fire at his apartment last week

By Laura McVicker, Columbian staff writer

Published:

Updated: October 1, 2012, 7:27 PM

 

A Vancouver arson suspect who kept officers at bay for hours Saturday at a Hazel Dell hotel is also suspected of setting his own home on fire last week, according to court documents.

Angel Torres-Reyna, 41, made his first appearance Monday morning in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of first-degree arson in connection with the hotel fire. Judge Scott Collier set bail at $100,000 and appointed attorney Gregg Schile to represent him.

Jail officials said Torres-Reyna is being held on an immigration hold by the federal Immigration & Customs Enforcement agency.

Court papers say Torres-Reyna is already a suspect in a Sept. 27 fire at his home at the Willowbrook Apartments, 3612 N.E. 51st St. He was staying at the Quality Inn on Highway 99 thanks to assistance from the American Red Cross. He has not been charged with a crime in connection with the Willowbrook fire.

Torres-Reyna is accused of setting his hotel room ablaze Saturday afternoon and then crawling from his balcony onto the roof. As firefighters responded and set up ladders to rescue him, officials said Torres-Reyna pushed the ladders away from the building.

“It appeared Angel didn’t want to be rescued,” wrote sheriff’s Deputy Albin Boyse in a probable cause affidavit filed with the court.

Deputies said the defendant pushed away a ladder as one firefighter was climbing it, and the firefighter had to jump when he was between three and five feet above the ground, according to court documents.

During the hourslong standoff that began Saturday afternoon, a sheriff’s negotiator who speaks Spanish tried to talk Torres-Reyna down from the roof. The man stood atop the roof shirtless and, at times, was seen smoking a cigarette. Just after 8 p.m., after the sun set and temperatures dipped, Torres-Reyna relented and came down a ladder perched from a truck.

When investigators questioned him, he denied everything, according to court documents. He was subsequently booked in the Clark County Jail.

According to a pre-trial release officer’s report, Torres-Reyna has a history of mental health issues. He appeared in court in a “suicide smock” whose tear-resistant fabric is difficult for inmates to fashion into a noose.

Arraignment was set for Oct. 12.

Laura McVicker:http://twitter.com/col_courts; http://facebook.com/reportermcvicker; laura.mcvicker@columbian.com; 360-735-4516.