Prelim hearing set for man charged with setting Ocean Beach fires
by NEAL PUTNAM
Published - 08/16/18 - 02:56 PM | 1437 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A judge set an Aug. 29 preliminary hearing for a man accused of setting 10 fires that damaged six cars in Ocean Beach including a classic MGB convertible.

Michael Alexander Barringer, 26, appeared Aug. 14 before San Diego Superior Court Judge Polly Shamoon, who confirmed the preliminary hearing date. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The incidents occurred late at night on July 12 and early morning of July 13. The arsonist moved large trash cans beside vehicles and then set fire to the contents of the trash cans and blue recyclable containers.

Steve Stavish posted on a GoFundMe.com page that the "Ocean Beach arsonist torched my classic MGB." The arsonist put a box inside his 1979 convertible and then set the box on fire. The interior was destroyed, and Stavish said he only had liability insurance.

"I wish to restore the interior and once again get this classic back on the road," wrote Stavish.

The first fire was set in an alley near Bacon Street and Cape May Avenue. The other fires were set on Newport Avenue, Niagara Avenue, Santa Monica Avenue, Spray Street, Long Branch Avenue and Muir Avenue.

Police initially estimated the damages as $23,000. Barring was arrested on Spray Street and Long Branch Avenue and was allegedly in possession of a butane lighter which had been stolen from a barbecue area outside someone's home.

He is also charged with two counts of attempted arson. Eleven counts are felonies and he is also charged with a misdemeanor count of recklessly causing a fire.

No apparent motive has been discussed in court. One resident told a television news reporter that he recognized Barringer as a guy who was often seen walking around in the area, sometimes singing to himself.

Barringer remains in the George Bailey Detention Facility on $700,000 bail.

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