|For Immediate Release
Case # TBA
October 23, 2009
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
Cell: 714-292-2718Farrah Emami
MAN CHARGED WITH HATE CRIME ARSON FOR SETTING CHURCH PROPERTY ON FIRE AFTER BECOMING DISGRUNTLED WITH ITS TEACHINGS
NEWPORT BEACH – A man has been charged with committing hate crime arson by attempting to set an Irvine church on fire after becoming disgruntled with the church’s teachings. Izad Chavoshan, 30, Huntington Beach, is charged with three felony counts of arson, one felony count of attempted arson, and faces a hate crime sentencing enhancement. The defendant has a prior strike conviction for criminal threats in 1998. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in state prison. The People will be requesting $250,000 bail at Chavoshan’s arraignment today, Friday, Oct. 23, 2009, at 1:30 p.m. in Department H-1, Harbor Justice Center, Newport Beach.
Between Oct. 15, 2009, and Oct. 19, 2009, Chavoshan is accused of driving to the Orange County Church of Christ in Irvine on three separate occasions at night after everyone had left. The defendant, a former church member, is accused of disagreeing with the church and its teachings. On all three occasions, the defendant is accused of moving trash cans to the front of the church and setting them on fire. Church employees reported the fires to Irvine Police, who began investigating the case.
At approximately 10:00 p.m. on Oct, 21. 2009, Chavoshan is accused of driving to the church and parking close to the front doors. He is accused of approaching the front of the church and repeatedly throwing a trash can at the glass portion of the front doors. The defendant is then accused of removing a pack of matches from his pocket, lighting a piece of paper on fire, and attempting to set the church on fire by pushing the lit piece of paper between the closed church doors.
Chavoshan was arrested at the scene by officers, who had been monitoring the church in response to the three trash can fires. This case was investigated by the Irvine Police Department Special Investigations Unit and Orange County Fire Authority fire investigators.
Deputy District Attorney Andrew Katz of the Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting this case.