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WPD Arrests Male for Starting Fire, Throwing Lighter Fluid on Officer

For Immediate Release: 11/22/2021 3:52 pm

On November 22nd 2021 at about 5 AM, Worcester Police officers were dispatched to Clark University at 950 Main St for a report of a male who started a fire. Upon arrival, officers observed several bushes on fire next to a Clark University building, and a male standing next to the fire watching it. When the male saw the officer’s cruiser, he appeared startled and began running away from the cruiser. The officer got out of the car and pursued the male, who eventually got tired and stopped running around 711 at 973 Main St.

When the officer caught up with the male, identified as Joel Lopez, twenty-nine-years-old of Richard St, Mr. Lopez took a fighting stance and began to threaten the officer. When the officer reached to gain control of Mr. Lopez’s arm, Mr. Lopez threw charcoal lighter fluid at the officer, and the liquid went into the officer’s eyes. The officer’s eyes were burning as he struggled with Mr. Lopez, who was attempting to punch the officer. The officer was able to bring Mr. Lopez to the ground and place him in handcuffs. The officer located a lighter next to the bottle of charcoal lighter fluid.

Joel Lopez is charged with Attempt to set a Fire, Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon (Lighter Fluid), Assault and Battery on a Police Officer, and Resisting Arrest. He will be arraigned in court.

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