A California man with mixed martial arts training took down an arson suspect in a stolen Tesla by dragging him out of the driver’s seat Saturday and wrapping him up like a “pretzel” until police arrived, according to Bay Area authorities.

The suspect allegedly swiped the Tesla in Fremont and drove to Vallejo, where police say he used road flares to light a fire that scorched 15 acres of vegetation before firefighters put it out – about the size of 11 football fields.

Alex Bello, the good Samaritan martial artist, witnessed a man “playing” in a field before he saw flames erupt near the intersection of Admiral Callaghan Lane and Turner Parkway on his way home from Costco with his family.

“It sounds weird, but that’s why I started staring because he looked like he was just poking at the grass, and all the sudden I realized he was lighting a fire,” Bello told Fox News Digital.

The man, who appeared homeless, then threw a flare into the middle of the field, which Bello said is next to a residential area stocked with homes, including his own.

“It was not a bravery thing, it was more of a ‘We’re on our phones a lot, and we’re used to recording instead of acting upon,’ and I was with my kids and the mother of my kids, and I talked to her and I told her I got to get involved,” he said. “It was right behind my house, so it was something I had to do.”

It was windy. The field was dry. And the fire spread rapidly, he said.

So, he and at least one other witness called 911, and Bello decided to follow the suspect and keep an eye on him.

“The dispatcher kept asking where he is, what is he doing,” Bello said. “I told them I would feel comfortable if I could take him down – I wouldn’t have to keep following him around.”

The dispatcher gave him the OK, he said, and he waited for the chance.

He grabbed the suspect as he was allegedly attempting to get back into the stolen Tesla. After a short scuffle, Bello wrapped him up and held him until police arrived.

“He looked like a pretzel,” Bello said. “I had one hand on both of his, enough pressure for me to hold him down but not to hurt him.”

“With all these things going on, I didn’t want to get in any trouble,” he added – a reference to the case of Daniel Penny, a Marine veteran charged with homicide after placing an aggressive passenger in a chokehold on a New York subway car. “When I felt like I had him secured, I used the other hand to pat him down, and that’s when I found a crack pipe on him.”

Police arrived within minutes, he said, but with the adrenaline rush, he said it felt much longer. Police and firefighters arrived, stopping the flames and taking the suspect into custody.

California has suffered from devastating wildfires, and police thanked Bello for intervening in an incident “that easily could have destroyed businesses and residences.”

Authorities did not release the suspect’s name but said he admitted to stealing the car and lighting the fire. Police did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for more information.

Photos show smoke stretched across a field of burned vegetation and dry grass on the edge of a residential neighborhood, as well as several flares recovered from the stolen car, which police found double-parked in an area for electric vehicle charging.

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