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Man armed with hammer arrested after threatening to light person and their dog on fire

San Mateo Police on Wednesday arrested a man who witnesses said threw lighter fluid on someone and threatened to set their dog on fire.

At 12:13 p.m., police said they received multiple calls of an agitated man walking on West Hillsdale Boulevard near Clearview Way. Callers stated the man was throwing items while armed with a hammer, and that he had thrown lighter fluid on a person and his dog, trying to light them on fire.

The victim dropped his cellphone as he attempted to get the hammer away from the suspect. The suspect took the phone and fled, police said.

Numerous officers responded and located the victim, who smelled of lighter fluid but was uninjured. Police found the suspect in the 1600 block of Bayridge Way, where officers trained in crisis negotiations and the department’s new mental health clinician persuaded the subject to surrender after 45 minutes.

The suspect was arrested on assault charges and a destruction of evidence charge for setting the victim’s cellphone on fire, police said.

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