Arson suspect's shoes mark a possible connection to incident - Tucson News Now

Arson suspect's shoes mark a possible connection to incident

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Damien Soto (Source: Pima County Sheriff's Office) Damien Soto (Source: Pima County Sheriff's Office)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Pima County Sheriff's Department officials arrested a Casa Grande man in possible connection to two residential fires after authorities matched the treads on his shoes to footprints at the incident scene.

A Pima County Sheriff's deputy responded to the scene of the fires in the 4400 block of N. Palomino Lane, outside the city limits of Casa Grande, and witnessed two males in a verbal argument Sunday.

One man reportedly accused Damien Soto, 26, of starting the fire.

"After the deputy confirmed nobody was inside of the homes and the fire department arrived on scene, the deputy went to speak with the two males," Sheriff Paul Babeu stated in a news release. "When the deputy got back to his vehicle, he saw that Soto had left. The other male subject involved in the verbal dispute was still there now with two other witnesses. The two witnesses told the deputy, they asked Soto if he started the fire and he said ‘yeah.'"

A deputy took photographs of the shoe prints between the two residences on scene.

Police said witnesses saw Soto leave the area after the fire was started. Both houses were abandoned and no utilities were on.

Witnesses said Soto was extremely intoxicated and allegedly sniffed gasoline from a rag before the fires were started, according to a news release.

Detectives found Soto at his sister's residence in the 700 block of S. Main Street, Coolidge. Police said he wore shoes that had the same tread as those left at the scene of the fire. He reportedly refused to answer questions about the fire.

He was booked into the Pinal County Adult Detention Center for two counts of arson.

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