Officers in the Merced Multi-Agency Task Force thwarted a firebombing attempt Tuesday night.
Four young men were arrested near the 200 block of Drakely Avenue in Atwater just as three of the suspects were lighting firebombs in front of a home they were targeting, according to an arrest report.
Agents with the task force were on watch near the home, after the Atwater Police Department's street crimes unit got a tip about the planned attack.
According to a police report, a white Honda SUV parked near the house around 10:40 p.m. Three men got out of the car, and a driver, 21-year-old Lawrence Garavito, left the scene.
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The three men who got out of the car were in the process of lighting rags that stuck out the top of three 40-ounce King Cobra bottles filled with gasoline when officers flooded the area. The men were arrested before they threw the bombs. The suspects are: 19-year-old Raymond Garavito, 18-year-old Joaquin Flores, and Fernando Elvira, 19.
Lawrence Garavito, the driver, was arrested nearby at the 400 block of Elm Avenue.
All four men were booked into the Merced County Main Jail for attempted arson, conspiracy to commit arson, and possession of an incendiary device, with special enhancements for gang activity, according to the report. Bail for each suspect is $205,000.
Reporter Danielle E. Gaines can be reached at (209) 385-2477 or firstname.lastname@example.org.