Homeless man charged with setting fire to trash bin at Laguna Beach hotel

Jermaine Sterling, 33, has been charged with arson in a trash bin fire at the Inn at Laguna Beach. (Courtesy of Laguna Beach Police Department)

A homeless man has been charged with setting a fire in a trash bin at the Inn at Laguna Beach.

Laguna Beach police arrested Jermaine Sterling, 33, after surveillance video showed the fire being set early Friday, authorities said.


Sterling was charged with arson. He was being held at Orange County’s Theo Lacy jail with bail set at $350,000, according to jail records.

Laguna Beach police Sgt. Jim Cota said officers responded to a report of a fight near the Inn at Laguna Beach and that five minutes later, police and fire authorities responded to a report of a fire in a trash bin.


North Coast Highway between Broadway and Aster Street was temporarily closed as a result of the fire.

Cota said authorities obtained video footage that “clearly shows Sterling set the fire and flee the area.” The evidence was turned over to the Orange County district attorney’s office.

According to Cota, Sterling admitted to starting the fire because he was upset about the earlier fight.


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