Man arrested on double arson charges after trailers burn at UDOT compound in Wendover

Crews fought an arson fire in Wendover on Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020. Photo: Wendover Police Department

WENDOVER, Utah, Aug. 5, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — A Wendover man has been charged with two counts of felony arson after two structure fires in the Utah Department of Transportation employee compound in that city.

Wendover police and fire officials were called to the scene at 3:15 a.m. Wednesday.

“The trailers were fully engulfed and the West Wendover Fire Department was called to assist,” a Wendover Police statement says. “WFD Firefighters found two structures ablaze and immediately began fighting the fires.”

“Wendover Police investigators determined that a resident of the UDOT compound had deliberately set a single-wide trailer on fire, which caused a vacant nearby trailer to burn.

Crews fought an arson fire in Wendover on Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020. Photo: Wendover Police Department

“Both trailers were completely destroyed. A 28-year-old Wendover man, identified as Joshua D. Gonzales, was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated arson. No injuries were reported.”

Joshua Dee Gonzales. Photo: Tooele County

The charges are first-degree felonies. Gonzales is being held without bail.

According to a probable cause statement, Gonzales was a resident in the trailer he is believed to have set afire, and flames leapt to the trailer next door.

A camera pointed at the scene captured footage of a man “that strongly resembled Joshua Gonzales,  trying to light the front porch on fire, he would go in and out of the house also lighting the back porch on fire.

“After the individual got the fire started they watched him walk northbound eventually leaving the camera’s view. The direction this individual went was the same direction Joshua was located later…. Trooper Jennings and myself was able to locate Joshua on leppy pass sitting on a rock with a little bag of belongings.”

Gonzales is also charged in a May 28, 2020 incident with aggravated assault threat/show of violence, a third degree felony, and theft of something valued at more than $500, a class B misdemeanor. The probable cause statement says the alleged victim was the father of Gonzales. The older man told police his son had threatened him with a knife before stealing his vehicle, the probable cause statement says.

Wendover, Utah, with a population of about 1,470, is 1.8 miles east of the Nevada city of West Wendover, which has a population estimated at 4,270.


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