“Someone threw a bottle at it,” said Tracy Police Department officer Libby Orvick. “It was an attempted Molotov cocktail.”
A Molotov cocktail is a crude fire bomb made of a bottle filled with a flammable liquid, usually fitted with a wick that is ignited just before the bottle is hurled, according to Webster’s Dictionary.
The impact of the bottle releases the fluid and sets it, and the object on which it lands, on fire.
Orvick said she and another officer were alerted to a vehicle fire at 11:26 a.m. She said the fire was out when they arrived.
Shattered chunks of glass immediately next to the truck were visible on the roadway of Beverly Place, a few yards from the Lincoln Boulevard intersection. Scorch marks on the truck’s driver’s-side door and window marked the alleged impact area of the bottle.
The owner of the truck, who declined to be interviewed, is a resident of Pepper Tree Apartments, according to another man, who said he was a friend of the victim.
“Another neighbor came and told us somebody threw something at the truck,” said the friend, who declined to give his name.
He also said he was a resident of the apartment complex, and thought the alleged fire bombing was a brazen move.
“In the middle of the day — have to take a lot of risk to do it,” he said.
No one at the scene offered a possible motive for the alleged attack, nor did anyone interviewed see an actual fire. A crime scene technician was called by the police department to confirm the cause of the reported vehicle fire.
Vanessa Pombo, who was washing her car in a nearby driveway, said there have been break-ins in the area the past year, but overall thought it was a safe neighborhood.
“I’m surprised (about the incident),” she said. “I think it’s stupid — a busy street and school getting out.”
Another area resident said he was also upset.
“That’s terrible,” said Ron Artacho. “People are crazy.”
• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or firstname.lastname@example.org.