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Man wanted for violating probation sets fire to residence during standoff

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A man wanted for violating his probation was hospitalized Thursday morning after he allegedly set fire to a residence while hiding from authorities.

Around 7:40 a.m., deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in Hemet spotted a man they identified as Alexander Mettey, a 31-year-old homeless man who was wanted for violating his probation.

Deputies followed Mettey, who they believed to be armed, as he entered a residence on the 25000 block of Howard Road.

Authorities surrounded the home and began making announcements for anyone inside to come out. Multiple people exited the residence and confirmed that Mettey was inside.

Deputies attempted to negotiate for him to surrender, and those negotiations went on for several hours before authorities discovered there was a fire inside the residence.

That fire spread quickly and engulfed the building, the Sheriff’s Department said, and Mettey became trapped inside and was seen breaking windows as he tried to escape.

Firefighters and deputies began organizing a rescue and were able to breach windows and walls to get inside and rescue the unconscious suspect.

He was then transported to a nearby hospital for treatment of undisclosed injuries and is currently in stable condition. The fire was extinguished without spreading to other residences and CalFire is investigating it as arson.

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information about the case is urged to contact Investigator Raymond Ghiliotty at the Hemet Sheriff’s Station by calling 951-791–3400.

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