Suspect in Series of Fires in Ocean Beach in Mid-July Has Preliminary Hearing Set

by on August 20, 2018 · 2 comments

in Ocean Beach

Judge Polly Shamoon set a preliminary hearing for Michael Alexander Barringer, accused of setting 10 fires that damaged six cars in Ocean Beach late at night on in mid July.

The prelim for Barringer, 26, was set for August 29. (All felony-charged suspects have preliminary hearings.)

He had earlier pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him, which include 2 counts of attempted arson, for a total of eleven felonies and one misdemeanor count of recklessly causing a fire.

Back on the night on July 12 and early morning of July 13, large trash cans and blue recyclable containers were moved next to vehicles and set on fire. One fire caused the evacuation of an apartment complex.

Six vehicles – including a classic MGB convertible – were damaged. A box had been placed inside a 1979 convertible and set on fire, destroying the interior. Besides property damage, there were no injuries reported.

Fires had been set between 11pm Thursday to about 6am, and included one in an alley near Bacon Street and Cape May Avenue, on Newport Avenue, Niagara Avenue, Santa Monica Avenue, Spray Street, Long Branch Avenue and Muir Avenue.

As fire crews and police investigated the fires, it was then a man who appeared to be in the process of starting a fire was seen on Long Branch and Spray Street and detained. Barringer was arrested allegedly with a butane lighter. At this point, no motive is known. A local resident told the media he recognized Barringer as a guy who was often seen walking around in the area, sometimes singing to himself.

He remains in George Bailey held on $700,000 bail.

In the fire that forced the apartment complex evacuation, OB resident John Tschirgi was quoted as saying:

“Someone had pushed recycling bins next to [our car] and stuffed a bunch of stuff in the exhaust pipe and tried to light that.”

 “We were asleep and not thinking too clearly and thought it was a car peeling off and cops chasing, and shortly thereafter we had a knock on our door from our neighbor saying to come down.”

News Sources:

OB Rag





{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

ZZ August 21, 2018 at 11:57 am

He has a long arrest record from Florida, including domestic violence, battery and tormenting/mutilating animals:

The name, height, race, and date of birth all match between the Florida record and San Diego jail records.


OBKid August 22, 2018 at 12:54 pm

Is this the guy from the December fires? My neighbors car was torched completely – burned from the inside and the cops didn’t do anything (of course)..there was also many other acts of vandalism that night – no arrests.


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