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Man Convicted In Buena Vista Park Death Arrested On Suspicion Of Castro Arson

Man Convicted In Buena Vista Park Death Arrested On Suspicion Of Castro Arson

Photo: Hank C./Facebook

By Rose Garrett - Published on January 22, 2015.

According to the Chronicle, 25-year-old David Muñoz Diaz was arrested yesterday on suspicion of starting a fire at a hair salon near 18th and Hartford streets on January 17th. 

Six months ago, Diaz was convicted on an involuntary manslaughter charge for the 2011 choking death of Freddy Canul-Arguello (23), who was killed in Buena Vista Park during a sexual encounter with Diaz. A jury acquitted Diaz of murder but found him guilty of involuntary manslaughter, arson, mutilation of the remains of a human being and destroying evidence. At the time, Diaz's attorney claimed that his client, who had dumped Canul-Arguello's body into a recycling bin and lit it on fire, was attempting to signal for help. 

Released from prison jail on time served, it seems Diaz may again have run afoul of the law, as police now suspect he might be responsible for setting a series of recent fires in and around the Castro. (Update: to clarify, Diaz had already served three years behind bars prior to his trial. The involuntary manslaughter charge carries a maximum sentence of four years.)

The Chronicle reports that San Francisco arson investigators have been looking into more than 20 fires in the neighborhood, and that Diaz is believed to be connected to many of them.

In past months, we've noted a string of vehicle arsons in the area, plus the senseless arson of the Noe Little Free Library, not to mention one of a few recent port-a-potty torchings citywide.

On Monday, three more arsons hit the Castro. One fire burned a truck at Castro and 19th streets around 4am, a garbage can fire happened 30 minutes later just down the street, and yet another fire was set across the street.

Diaz has been charged and jailed on suspicion of arson, possession of an incendiary device, and first-degree burglary.