Javascript not enabled!

City of Modesto, California News Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Lieutenant Rick Armendariz, (209) 652-1820
Release Date: Friday, October 12, 2012, 5:40 PM

Suspect Arrested for Attempting to Light Woman in Wheelchair on Fire


Release Date: October 12, 2012 

Modesto Police Department

Media Relations

Office of the Chief of Police

600 10th Street, Modesto, CA 95354

Author: Lieutenant Rick P. Armendariz


MODESTO, CA- Modesto Police officers arrested a distraught male after he tried to light a woman in a wheelchair on fire with lighter fluid and a lighter.


On Thursday, October 11, 2012, at about noon, a Modesto Police officer was flagged down near the intersection of 18th Street and G Street in downtown Modesto by a woman in a wheelchair.  The woman told the officer she was waiting to cross the street when she was approached an unknown male.  The male called her the devil and poured lighter fluid on her pant legs.  The suspect then lit a lighter and was in the process of attempting to light the woman on fire, when the woman’s husband arrived and scared the suspect away. 


Another Modesto Police officer, who was nearby, located the suspect, 45-year-old Nathan Yarbrough, as he was walking near Burney Street and 17th Street.  When the officer contacted Yarbrough, he was still in possession of the lighter fluid. Yarbrough was also distraught and would not comply with the officer’s commands.  As the officer was waiting for additional officers to assist in detaining Yarbrough, he squirted lighter fluid on the officer’s boots.  Yarbrough was taken into custody without further incident.         


Neither the woman in the wheelchair nor the arresting officer suffered any physical harm from being dowsed with the lighter fluid.


Yarbrough was arrested for attempted murder, assault with a caustic chemical, and elder abuse and booked into the Stanislaus County Jail.


(Booking Photo of Nathan Yarbrough)



Follow us:


Like us:


See what crime may be occurring in your neighborhood.  Visit us at: or and select “Modesto Police