Mountain View police arrest suspect in Fremont brush fire

Officers say they found woman staggering in road where she was nearly hit by car

A woman accused of starting a 5-acre fire with a flare gun in the East Bay was arrested in Mountain View last week, according a statement released Monday.

Fremont police sought the arrest of the 43-year-old woman after she was suspected of starting a vegetation fire in the hills east of Mission Boulevard on Sunday, June 23. Witnesses described how she got into an argument with a man and, as the altercation escalated, fired a flare out of a modified pellet gun at him.

Christine Haller
The flare missed the victim, but landed in dry brush and sparked a brush fire. Thirty people were evacuated from about a dozen residences and structures close to the fire, which grew to 5 acres before it was contained after three hours. No one was injured in the blaze.

The woman fled the area on foot, heading towards the hills, and could not be located, according to the statement. Police officers found what they called a "modified flare gun" at the scene.

Fremont police received a signed warrant for the arrest of the woman on June 24 for assault with a deadly weapon, unlawfully causing a fire of a structure or forest land and corporal injury to a person from a prior dating relationship, police said in the statement.

Mountain View police encountered the woman around 10 p.m. on Wednesday, June 26, when she was reportedly seen staggering out into the street on Middlefield Road near N. Whisman Road. An officer pulled over to talk to assist the woman after she was nearly hit by a passing car, according to police spokeswoman Katie Nelson.

Police later discovered the woman, identified as Christina Haller, had a warrant for her arrest in connection to the fire and assault. She was taken to Santa Rita Jail in Alameda County and was arraigned July 2 on a felony charge of recklessly causing a fire.

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