Suspect in Nipomo arson, vandalism is caught after being hit with two-by-four

mfountain@thetribunenews.comFebruary 13, 2014 

Sheriff’s Office officials have an arson and vandalism suspect in custody — now they’re trying to figure out who beat him over the head with a two-by-four.

Jacob Bernerd, 35, of Nipomo was taken to a hospital with a fractured skull Wednesday night following a series of reports of someone damaging vehicles and homes in a Nipomo neighborhood.

At about 9 p.m., deputies were called to assist Cal Fire officials battle a house fire on the 1300 block of La Quinta Drive. At about the same time, dispatchers received numerous reports of vandalism in the area possibly related to an individual traveling on a bicycle and threatening residents of the neighborhood.

Officers found a number of homes and vehicles with broken windows.

As officers were examining the damage, they received another report, this time of a group of people fighting with the suspect in the area of 1300 La Loma Drive.

According to a news release, Bernerd was caught after being struck in the head with what the Sheriff’s Office says appears to be a 2x4 piece of wood. He was taken to a local hospital before officers arrested him on suspicion of arson and vandalism.

Investigations into both incidents are ongoing, and the Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in identifying the people who attacked Bernerd.

As of Thursday afternoon, Bernerd was no longer in custody.

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