Saturday afternoon SLOPD and SLO City Fire responded to three separate fire alarm activations in the downtown area. The first alarm was activated at 12:57 pm at Aaron Brothers at 647 Higuera St. A witness in the store described the suspect as a white male adult in his 50’s, possibly transient, with dark curly hair and wearing a light colored t-shirt and shorts. Officers checked the area but were unable to locate the suspect.
A few minutes later dispatch received a call of a water flow alarm at Novo, located at 726 Higuera. They learned that the sprinklers had been set off in the lower floor because a manual pull station had been activated. SLO City Fire responded to ensure that there was no fire and to reset the alarm.
At about 1:23 p.m. an officer on bicycle patrol downtown heard and alarm sounding at the City/County Library at the corner of Palm and Osos. He then saw people exiting the building hurriedly. He contacted employees at the Library who witnessed a man pull the alarm at a manual pull station, and they indicated that the man was still inside. The officer went into the Library and detained the man identified by the employees.
The man was identified as 50-year-old John Bryan of San Luis Obispo. Bryan admitted to activating the alarms at the various locations. Bryan was booked at the San Luis Obispo County Jail on three counts of willfully activating fire alarms (a misdemeanor), as well as for an outstanding warrant.