Downtown Arson Suspect Arrested

Police on Wednesday arrested a man suspected of lighting at least a dozen fires in downtown San Jose, one of which gutted a Victorian home and almost killed an elderly couple.

Patrick William Brennan, 48, was booked on two counts of arson. Brennan is already a convicted serial arsonist and registered sex offender. He was arrested 15 years ago in connection with some hillside fires. Police say that this past week, Brennan torched several homes, a church portable unit—twice—and some businesses. He also allegedly sparked a five-alarm warehouse blaze, all within the same 2-square-mile neighborhood by San Jose State University and all between the hours of 2 and 5am.

Police had been following the suspect for a day before arresting him Wednesday night, they said.

Mayor Chuck Reed thanked downtown residents for their help passing out flyers and smoke alarms and helping firefighters and investigators alert people to the fire spree.

“I’d also like to thank the dedicated residents who came together to keep watch over their neighborhoods and help our officers and firefighters solve these horrible crimes,” Reed said. “The collaboration between our residents and public safety departments is one of the things that help make San Jose a great place to live, work and raise a family.”

Jennifer Wadsworth is the former news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.


  1. Police win again despite the best efforts of the politicians and the “journos!”  Great Job and I hope no-one on the job suffered any disabling injury.

    • p.s.  Reed isn’t thanking the part of the “community” that lives in the arson affected neighborhood that was throwing bottles at the firefighters who responded to the crash that resulted in a fire and the loss of power to the “community” a few nights ago…

      • Very interesting, when I worked the huge fire in the 80’s at the gas plant.
        On Santa Clara St, jerks threw bottles at us and fire department.  And birgulrized multiple apartments.

        Feel sorry for the officer that the city is refusing to pay for his on duty medical payments which reflect on his credit.  Well done Chuck!

  2. While cops are doing surveillance and doing their computer work ups on deviants in the area the opportunist Liccardo is knocking on doors and handing out smoke detector batteries…. I will vomit if the misinformed clueless voters vote this guy into office. Even if he is backed by MN, SJI and the other rags..

  3. Its funny that Reeds Puppet , Lickardo hands out smoke detectors and batteries as a publicity stunt and it all over the Papers. Meanwhile “the Latino firefighters of San Jose have been giving away and installing Smoke detectors and batteries for years, every year.AND nothing in the Merc??? No Bias there. Im so over this Opportunist , Lickardo and that Rag “the Merc. . San Jose will be better off without the both of them

    • What I find funny is he never attempted to do this before he wanted to run for mayor. The citizens should see right through this. Where were you Sam, before you wanted to run for mayor?

  4. Thank God we still have a few real police and Fire officers in SJ.  But we still have a lot of idiots on the city council.

    • Is Police Chief Larry Esquivel on vacation or was his gag ball tightened with his new permanent appointment to Chief? We haven’t seen or heard from him since his appointment…….Hello, Chief,, your Department is looking for you.

  5. This Chief has the red carpet to speak out to the media and state the sad affairs of his dept….. Will he do it? Nope. He will do his time and collect his higher pension leaving all the worker bees to drown in the city hall waste. If there were ever a time to step up and do “what is right” and for the right reasons it is now….. This is not even a slight improvement over Chris Moore.