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Police say man torched trash can to stay warm, protest bus hours

Post by Alexis Krell / The News Tribune on June 2, 2013 at 5:52 pm with No Comments »
June 2, 2013 10:36 pm

An upcoming cut in Pierce Transit’s service hours has generated heated comments from the public at board meetings, but Saturday police say it prompted actual flames at a Tacoma bus stop.

When officers arrived about 10 p.m. at South 56th Street and Pacific Avenue South after getting a call about a fire there, a 72-year-old man at the bus stop told them he started the blaze because he was cold and to protest reduced transit hours, police spokesman Naveed Benjamin said.

No one was injured, and the man was arrested without incident for investigation of arson, Benjamin said.

Tacoma Fire responded, and said the blaze was minor and only required one engine company.

Pierce Transit plans to reduce its annual service hours for buses and shuttles from 417,000 to 300,000 starting Sept. 29, after voters in November rejected a sales tax increase of three-tenths of 1 percent for the second time in less than two years.

The cut is set for a final vote by Pierce Transit’s board June 10.

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