A Riverside man said to have helped put out fires in the Amazon and dreamed of a job in the military was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of intentionally setting four fires in Riverside in November.
A judge has scheduled a felony arson hearing for 22-year-old Muhammed Khan, who has been in custody since his arrest Feb. 5.
Police say that Khan, a U.S. citizen born in Pakistan, was living in the neighborhood where some of the fires were reported when they occurred.
In court documents filed Thursday, Riverside police said that Khan told a police interview with him that he was upset over the recent immigration raids in the region.
Khan told police that he began setting fires after he did not hear from the deputy military attaché at the Pakistan Embassy in Washington, D.C., because he was “starving,” according to the documents.
In videos and photographs Khan posted to social media last year, he is seen with various indigenous people in his home country — including one native to the rain forest.
Photos posted to social media after he was arrested had him holding a pistol and in the midst of a fire he had started.
Authorities say they believe a large fire Khan started on Firenze Drive on Nov. 19, three fires on Firenze Drive on Nov. 30, another on Woodridge Street on Dec. 7 and a smaller fire on Gladys Lane on Dec. 10 were all set intentionally.
On Wednesday, Khan’s attorney filed a motion to dismiss the first four cases, citing a missing witness and the need for more evidence in the cases.
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