Suspected Champs Sports arsonist arrested in New York, officials say
TAMPA, Fla. - FOX 13 has learned an arrest has been made in the arson investigation that destroyed a Champs Sports store during the looting and riots in Tampa on May 30.
Sources tell FOX 13 News that agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) arrested the suspected arsonist in New York and he will have to extradited back to Tampa to face charges.
An ATF spokesperson confirms the suspect is in their custody and the investigation is ongoing. No other information was released.
Video released by the Tampa Police Department showed a shirtless man throwing a flaming object into a broken window at the Champs Sports store, located at 2381 Fowler Ave.
The store burned to the ground along with other businesses in the area, as looters smashed glass and pushed through locked doors.
The looting started after peaceful protests earlier in the day against police brutality and racial injustice. The protests in Tampa coincided with demonstrations around the country after the death of George Floyd while being taken into custody by Minneapolis police.
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Dozens of suspects ended up being arrested. Most of the suspects live in Tampa; the rest were from nearby communities.
Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren said he planned to add an enhancement to the charges because the looting was committed during a state of emergency.
Instead of the accused looters facing a third-degree felony, they will be facing second-degree burglary and grand theft charges, which could mean more possible jail time.
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This is a developing story. Check back for updates.