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San Rafael Police Department

San Rafael Police Department

For Immediate Release

Author: Sergeant Justin Graham
Date: January 31, 2022 10:30 AM
Case Number: SR22-00724

Suspect Ignites Butane Lighter in Officer's Face

San Rafael, CA – On 01/31/2022, Manolo Calderon-Puac, a 41-year-old Novato resident, was arrested after he lit a butane lighter toward an officer and resisted being taken into custody.  Calderon-Puac was booked into the Marin County Jail on felony assault with a deadly weapon and felony aggravated obstruction of a peace officer. 

During the early morning hours at 12:30 AM, the San Rafael Police Department received a phone call from a person reporting suspicious activity while staying at a hotel in the 700 block of Francisco Boulevard East.  The reporting person told dispatchers that two male subjects had awakened them after repeatedly banging on the front door.  The dispatcher could also hear the knocking over the phone.  The reporting party did not know who the subjects were.

SRPD Officers responded to the scene and located the two responsible individuals at the hotel.  During the contact with officers, one of the subjects, Calderon-Puac, was observed holding two butane lighters.  For obvious safety reasons, one of the officers told Calderon-Puac to drop the lighters.  Calderon-Puac refused.  

The officer went to reach for a lighter in one hand when Calderon-Puac raised his opposite hand, pointed the second lighter at the officer’s face, and ignited it.  The flame from the lighter immediately singed the officer’s facial hair.

Officers went to arrest Calderon-Puac, and he began fighting.  Both officers gave Calderon-Puac verbal commands and told him not to resist.  Calderon-Puac continued to fight.  Officers were forced to use a taser on Calderon-Puac to get him to stop fighting.  The taser had no effect.  The officers were finally able to subdue Calderon-Puac and took him into custody.  The second person involved fled when the fight started.

It was never determined why Calderon-Puac or the other subject was banging on the front door of the hotel room.

Both officers received minor injuries and returned to duty.  Calderon-Puac was treated for minor injuries at a local hospital and was booked into the Marin County Jail for assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated resisting of a peace officer, and obstructing a peace officer. 

The case was forwarded to the Marin County District Attorney’s Officer for review and prosecution.

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Posted: January 31, 2022 10:28 PST by Sergeant Justin Graham

Updated: January 31, 2022 10:30 PST by Justin Graham

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