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Shervin Lalezary, Hero Who Caught Arsonist: 'This Is A Lot More Exciting Than My Day Job' (VIDEO)

The Huffington Post   Posted: 01/03/12 03:23 PM ET

Shervin Lalezary Hero Arsonist

No, it wasn't a veteran detective or top cop who finally caught the man suspected of lighting 52 fires in Los Angeles since Friday. The hero is a real estate attorney, who serves the sheriff on nearly a volunteer-basis at a salary of $1 a year.

Shervin Lalezary is an Iranian-born reserve deputy who practices law at his own firm in Beverly Hills by day and practices bravery and heroism patrolling the community by night.

As CNN reports, at 3am Monday in Hollywood, Lalezary, having gone over his eight-hour shift, pulled over a van driven by a man who resembled the suspect in a surveillance video that the LAPD released. With the help of backup officers, he then arrested the driver, Harry Burkhart.

As the Los Angeles Times reports, Lalezary had just qualified through the sheriff reserve program in December to ride a police car solo. At a press conference Monday, Lalezary, who received his law degree in 2008 from USC, commented, "I can tell you this is a lot more exciting than my day job." He added, in homage to the hundreds of officers who were looking for the arsonist, "Thank you for coming in to work every day full-time, putting your lives on the line every day full-time. I look forward to coming back for my next shift with you guys."

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca joked Monday, "I'll give him a raise of another dollar a year." But in all seriousness, Baca continued, "This is one of the most significant arrests anyone can make -- regular or reserve -- in the history of law enforcement. And this will follow him for the rest of his life."

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