Carlsbad Chiropractor Arrested in Torching of Bonita Store
A Carlsbad chiropractor was arrested in connection with arson at a Bonita store after a San Diego County sheriff’s deputy saw a man setting the front of the store ablaze.
According to a Sheriff’s Department spokesman, Douglas L. Wofford, 41, was arrested Friday after being chased by the deputy. Wofford was being held on suspicion of arson in County Jail downtown. Bail was set at $500,000.
Capt. Richard Yokley of the Bonita Fire Department said the fire at Bonita Market Liquor & Deli started about 2:30 a.m. after a man set fire to a pile of newspapers that had been soaked with a flammable liquid outside the store.
The deputy who made the arrest was patrolling when he saw a flash of light and a man leaving the scene. When the deputy ordered the man to stop, the man began running, Yokley said.
A black swastika and the letters “SH” were found spray-painted in front of the store, he said.
Officials speculated that the letters could stand for skinheads, who are white supremacists, but he said that skinhead activity is uncommon in Bonita. Authorities said they had no knowledge that Wofford is involved in any hate groups.
“The swastika is unusual in the area,” Yokley said. “It is a very community-oriented area and there have never been problems with skinheads.”
The store is owned by Sam Yousif of El Cajon, who police said is from Iraq.
The contents of the store were destroyed in the fire, and the structure suffered partial damage. Overall damage was estimated at $200,000. Smoke also damaged a vacant building next door.
At the urging of the Fire Department, a Mass scheduled for Friday night at a nearby church was canceled because of fumes from the fire.