On Wednesday, June 14th, 2023, at 12:21 pm, the Turlock Fire Department, Modesto Fire Department, Stanislaus Regional Fire Investigation Unit, and American Medical Response were dispatched to a reported structure fire at 311 S First St, Turlock.
When firefighters arrived on scene, they found an approximately eight feet by eight feet trash fire up against the building that they were able to quickly extinguish.
Firefighters then entered the building to check for extension and were met by a burning roll-up door which had caused the building to fill up with smoke. Firefighters were also able to quickly extinguish that fire.
The fire investigator eventually arrived on scene and found evidence of arson, so he requested the Turlock Police Department respond.
When officers arrived on scene, a possible arson suspect who was walking away from the scene was pointed out to them and they attempted to make contact with him. The man was given several lawful orders to stop, however, he refused to comply and continued walking away.
Officers eventually caught up with the man about a block away where they were able to detain him. When asked to identify himself, the man gave a fake name, however, it had some similarities to his real name that the officers’ dispatcher was able to use to identify him as Shaquille Pleasant, 29, of Merced.
When the dispatcher ran Pleasant, she discovered that he had a $5,000 local misdemeanor bench warrant for possession of methamphetamines, possession of drug paraphernalia, obstructing or resisting a public officer in the discharge of their duty, and trespassing.
Pleasant was interviewed for his involvement in the arson and determined to actually not be involved.
Pleasant was arrested and booked into the Stanislaus County Public Safety Center on the charge of obstructing or resisting a public officer in the discharge of their duty, as well as his warrant.
The Modesto Fire Department provided city coverage for the duration of the incident.
No injuries were reported.
The investigation remains ongoing. Anyone with information that could assist in it is encouraged to call the Stanislaus Regional Fire Investigation Unit at 209-525-5537.