Transient Arrested for Starting Fire in Amtrak Station

Source: Santa Barbara Police Department

On October 21, 2021, around 9:20pm, the Santa Barbara Police Department received a report from an Amtrak employee about a subject that had just started a fire inside the Amtrak Station located at 209 State Street. The subject was still on scene and the employee reporting the incident provided a description of the individual to dispatchers.
Santa Barbara Police Officers, Santa Barbara City Fire Department, and Amtrak Police responded to the reported fire.  Santa Barbara Police Officers and Amtrak Police Officers arrived on scene and the subject that started the fire was identified by an Amtrak employee. Officers immediately noticed a strong smell of smoke coming from the lobby of the Amtrak Station. It appeared the subject had used newspapers to start a fire in the non-operable fireplace located inside the passenger waiting area. An Amtrak employee used a fire extinguisher to put the flames out before the fire could spread.
The subject was identified as Lonniel Morgan, a 63-year-old transient. Morgan had just come to Santa Barbara on a previous Amtrak train earlier that morning.
A witness who observed this incident stated they observed Morgan standing in front of the fire and appeared to be warming himself. There were numerous passengers in the lobby when smoke started billowing out of the non-operable fireplace and filling the station before being extinguished by an Amtrak employee. This witness also positively identified Morgan as the subject that started the fire.
Morgan was placed under arrest and booked in Santa Barbara County jail for Arson (felony), and Arson During a State of Emergency (felony). He is being held on $350,000 bail.


Written by SBPDPIO

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  1. this is way too harsh and i hope this is thrown out. cmon…the guy was cold. it was a fire place. all of the charges are ridiculous. a felon for being cold.
    if anyone should have been let go, it’s this guy. give him a 1 way ticket to santa maria.
    CHIP and I never agree…but we certainly agree here….

  2. SB’s political leaders have rolled out the red carpet for these types, so … you know the old saying, “you reap what you sow”. Can’t wait to see how the SB voters vote here in a week and a half. Ultimately it’s up to voters to decide if they will tolerate these kinds of crimes happening daily in their city while they’re paying for it.

  3. domestic terrorists? oh you mean the right wing groups like the proud boys and boogaloos that are going to the NW to counter protest and start fights and riots and pretend they are cops and army guys? yeah i’d certainly consider them domestic terrorists.

  4. CDBG dollars are intended to reduce blight; not increase it. They are actually intended to gentrify blighted neighborhoods in order to see property tax revenues increase. And all we get is the demand for more police expense in our CDBP projects? Let’s learn more about this one-way drain on our tax dollars.

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