Photo Of Peninsula 9/11 Memorial Arson Suspect Released

EAST PALO ALTO (CBS SF) — Investigators released a video and photos Friday of a suspect who allegedly set fire to a memorial set up outside an East Palo Alto fire station for the 15th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.

The image shows a male wearing a stripped shirt, dark coat and tan pants who was captured on surveillance video as he walked southbound on Runnymede from University after allegedly lighting the memorial on fire.

The memorial — a tradition within the Menlo Park Fire Protection District since the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington and Pennsylvania — was set ablaze at 1:40 p.m. in front of Station 2 at 2290 University Ave. in East Palo Alto, according to investigators.

The district provides emergency services to East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton and portions of unincorporated San Mateo County.

The memorial consisted of 343 small flags representing each firefighter who died while in the line of duty on Sept. 11. The flags were being held in a flag tray, which was built and paid for by the firefighters themselves, fire officials said.

“Fortunately it’s minor. Given the density of the flags on the pallet it could be much worse, it looks like half a dozen flags were burned with several others damaged,” Battalion Chief Ben Marra, a veteran of the response to the World Trade Center in New York, said in a statement.

The East Palo Alto Police Department has been notified about the incident and took over the investigation.

“I don’t get angry easily, but knowing that someone tried to burn not only our flag memorial, but a specific tribute to 343 heroic fallen brothers, some of whom I personally knew, worked with and helped to look for at Ground Zero, and that this occurred here on the actual 15th anniversary date of this event, it’s a despicable act of disrespect and cowardice,” Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman said in a statement.

Anyone recognizing the man is asked to contact the East Palo Alto Police Department via one of the following means:

  • Send an anonymous email to
  • Send an anonymous text from your cell phone to 650-409-6792
  • Leave an anonymous voice mail by calling 650-409-6792

© Copyright 2016 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


One Comment

  1. Zuma Mom says:

    Remember a time, when people who hated the U.S.

    didn’t live here? Our country was better and safer then.

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