Los Osos man critically burns himself, charged with arson

August 7, 2016

Los Osos Fire 1

A distraught Los Osos man, who started a fire that destroyed his home and caused third-degree burns over 30 percent of his body, was transported from a burn unit in Fresno to the San Luis Obispo County Jail on charges of arson and evading a peace officer.

On Feb. 6, the family of Mark Hannah, 47, asked the sheriff’s department to check on Hannah because they were concerned about his mental state. Deputies knocked on the door of his home on the 600 block of Woodland Drive, but Hannah did not answer, and the deputies left.

Two days later, Hannah’s family again asked for help. Deputies arrived as Hannah was driving away from his home and followed him onto Los Osos Valley Road, where they attempted to pull him over.

However, Hannah ignored the flashing lights and because Hannah had not committed a crime, deputies terminated their pursuit.

Shortly before 4 p.m. on Feb. 8., the distraught man allegedly lit a room inside his home on fire. By the time deputies arrived, Hannah was standing in his back yard with burns to his torso, face, feet and hands. His home was destroyed.

Emergency personnel then transported Hannah to a burn center in Fresno where he was treated for third-degree burns over 30 percent of his body.

After almost a month in the hospital, deputies arrested Hannah and booked him into the San Luis Obispo County Jail on charges of evading an officer and arson. Hannah remains in custody in lieu of $35,000 bail.

A jury trial is scheduled for Aug. 16.


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17 Comments

  1. demiseofslo says:

    “Deputies arrived as Hannah was driving away from his home and followed him onto Los Osos Valley Road, where they attempted to pull him over. However, Hannah ignored the flashing lights and because Hannah had not committed a crime, deputies terminated their pursuit.”

    WTF? So you can just keep on driving and ignore the cops? How in the hell does that work? What kind of cop does that?

    (-2) 4 Total Votes - 1 up - 3 down
  2. Casinogal says:

    The police were given the job of mental health consultant, advisor, etc. etc,. when Reagan closed the mental hospitals waaaaay back.
    Does anyone else remember the beautiful facility in Camarillo?

    (0) 12 Total Votes - 6 up - 6 down
  3. slojustice says:

    The family knew he was distressed, why didn’t they help him? You should not rely on the government for everything. You ask a lot of our government and then when they help your disappointed. We need to be more self reliant as a society and not expect 911 to solve all of our problems.

    (17) 21 Total Votes - 19 up - 2 down
  4. indigo1955 says:

    I just wrote a report on incarceration of the mentally ill. I just feel sick seeing this….how horribly we treat the mentally ill. What could it hurt to treat them? The measure of a society is how they treat the less fortunate. Epic fail.

    (2) 14 Total Votes - 8 up - 6 down
  5. jana says:

    A minor correction if you please; it was Cal Fire arson investigators who investigated the fire, determined it to be arson and then arrested Hannah as he was due to be released from the hospital in Fresno, not sheriff’s deputies.

    (3) 7 Total Votes - 5 up - 2 down
  6. brettmx says:

    “Two days later, Hannah’s family again asked for help. Deputies arrived as Hannah was driving away from his home and followed him onto Los Osos Valley Road, where they attempted to pull him over.

    However, Hannah ignored the flashing lights and because Hannah had not committed a crime, deputies terminated their pursuit.”

    Huh, how can you pull someone over in the first place who hasn’t committed a crime.

    And then this.
    “After almost a month in the hospital, deputies arrested Hannah and booked him into the San Luis Obispo County Jail on charges of evading an officer and arson.”

    Is the evading for not stopping?. I guess you can’t burn your own house down either. It’s going to be interesting to see how this all plays out.

    (5) 11 Total Votes - 8 up - 3 down
    • BeenThereDoneThat says:

      On burning down his own house. If mortgage, then no not his house. Also setting a fire that could spread to other nearby places? Yea I can see that as arson. You sound like another one of these…..Cops are wrong for everything….type.

      (0) 8 Total Votes - 4 up - 4 down
  7. Francesca Bolognini says:

    I posted before that I thought that we were sending officers into the field without sufficient training to deal with the circumstances they might encounter. It is a very difficult job and we do ourselves and them a disservice by not properly evaluating or preparing them for the eventualities. More close contact with and personal knowledge of their communities would be advisable as well. Back in the day, a Sheriff knew everyone by name and to some degree,what their lives entailed. You can’t prevent everything, but this was clearly a case of mental illness and the family asked for help several times before this rather unfortunate outcome. We need better responses than this to prevent situations becoming out of hand and people ending up severely injured or dead.

    And while some of you might think it was somehow amusing that this happened, it could be a neighbor that burns down their house and yours right along with it.

    (6) 12 Total Votes - 9 up - 3 down
    • SLO_Johnny says:

      We would need 20 times more deputies to accomplish what you are describing, we can barely pay for the current service. They aren’t social workers and we should not require them to do that. There is little that they can do until a mentally ill person commits a crime. That’s the big problem. The laws in California were rewritten to “protect the freedom” of people with mental illness. The psychiatrists convinced people that they would solve all the trouble with the newest wonder drugs so the mental hospitals were closed. The police, the families, the community can’t do anything until the mentally ill person commits a serious crime.

      (11) 13 Total Votes - 12 up - 1 down
      • RonHolt says:

        That is part of the problem but not the whole problem. A related part is that there has been a general expectation on the part of society/government to rely on pharmaceuticals to control many mental illnesses and that the drugs themselves have created more (and sometimes worse) problems.

        The worst problem is that, if people can be committed to mental treatment easily, what is to prevent abuse or that system? Can greedy relatives with the resources to do so, put a family member away to gain access to more wealth or to eliminate the inconvenience of dealing with an eccentric character? Can agents of the government (politicians or police or ??), lock someone up for being a persistent annoyance in their dealings with them? (Would you want Adam Hill, Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton to have that power?)

        (0) 6 Total Votes - 3 up - 3 down
        • SLO_Johnny says:

          Mentally ill people are free to be homeless and untreated while people worry about marginal issues like you mention. 25% of the people in prison are mentally ill. We need to address the needs of the vast majority of people suffering through a serious mental illness before we turn our focus to issues of marginal concern.

          (2) 6 Total Votes - 4 up - 2 down
  8. diamond says:

    Nothing helps the mentally ill like throwing them in jail an taking their money. Carry on.

    (6) 16 Total Votes - 11 up - 5 down
  9. hijinks says:

    Sounds like a perfect way to treat someone who’s mentally ill — charge him with a crime and lock him up. Hey, this guy’s his own crime’s victim, why not write that off and get him the help he needs instead of criminalizing his crazies?

    (2) 18 Total Votes - 10 up - 8 down
    • SLO_Johnny says:

      25% of the prison population has a diagnosed mental illness. California won’t change it’s “civil rights” laws to protect sick people from themselves and they won’t build more mental health facilities and clinics. We build prisons instead. How’s that working for ya????

      (3) 15 Total Votes - 9 up - 6 down

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