Footage shows Sarasota club arsonist

- The video shows a man wearing a black long sleeved shirt walking up to the 'Throb' nightclub in Sarasota Sunday morning.

He is carrying a gas can under his arm.

"He walks up to the business, he has a gas can in one hand and a lit cigarette. He apparently tries to light the gas can on fire and steps away," said Wendy Rose with the Sarasota Sheriff's Office.

His first attempt clearly does not work.

"He realizes the fire didn't light, he's looking over the shoulder, he's looking around the corner and then he steps back with his lit cigarette. He is able to light the fire and steps away," continued Rose.

As the man walks away, smoke and flames begin to fill the picture.  As for why someone would set fire outside the gay night club, deputies aren't sure why.

They're hoping someone will recognize him from surveillance footage and he can tell them why.

"He is wearing this long-sleeved shirt, he's trying to shield himself a little bit, but it's really not covering his face," said Rose.

A sprinkler system kept the fire from spreading indoors.  Outside, an electrical box is friend and a light is melted.

Investigators estimate about $10,000 worth of damage. 

Deputies are working with the State Fire Marshal to figure out why the club was his target.

"Is this an arson or is this something else. Some people have suggested a hate crime, this could just be a person that likes to set fires," said Rose.

There's one thing investigators are certain of.

"The surveillance footage is going to help," Rose added.

Anyone with information should contact Criminal Investigations at 941-861-4934 or the State Fire Marshal's arson hotline at 877-662-7766. 

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