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Man is Accused of Setting a Preschool on Fire in California and is Linked to Crimes in New Mexico


NEW MEXICO – Police and the FBI say that the person arrested has a past of setting fires in Albuquerque. That’s where the police say he’s been up to his old tricks again, and this time it put kids’ lives in danger.

In that case, the judge didn’t put him in jail and instead put him on probation. That might be about to change, though.

Jonathan Nava was caught by the Albuquerque Police Department after they said he was seen trying to set fire to a church and a gas pump in 2022. He was caught by police after a run and a fight with them.

In that case, he admitted to hitting and assaulting a police officer and also running away. In 2023, Judge Bruce Fox gave him five years of supervised probation instead of jail time. Early this year, though, his probation was taken away because he didn’t show up to meet with his probation officer, quit his job, and left the state of New Mexico.

These days, police in California have caught him for setting off another fire, this time at a preschool during the day. Federal records show that cops were called to Retreat Church and Yucaipa Christian Preschool, which are both outside of San Bernardino.

There were 14 adults and 48 kids inside the school. Thank goodness no one got hurt. Later, police said Nava also set fire to an optometrist’s office in the same town that same day. Nava is now facing two federal charges of trying to damage property with fire. He could spend up to 40 years in federal jail if found guilty.

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