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Man charged with setting fire to downtown Anchorage restaurant

Roscoe's Catfish and Barbecue
Roscoe's Catfish and Barbecue
Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 1:47 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A 21-year-old man faces multiple charges for crimes he allegedly committed in downtown Anchorage Saturday night, including setting fire to Roscoe’s Catfish and Barbecue.

The Anchorage Police Department said they arrested Matthew Wooten after he was released from the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries he acquired from the fire.

A community alert issued on Monday morning said first responders were notified of the fire moments before 9 p.m. It added that Wooten initially approached first responders for treatment on his upper body fire burns as firefighters extinguished the flames that night.

Following an initial investigation, police said Wooten walked toward the south side of the restaurant, located a cable box and tampered with it before his attention was drawn to an unoccupied motorhome parked behind the restaurant. Wooten then crawls on top of the motor home, “vandalized it” and goes inside to cause more damage.

The alert said Wooten also broke the window of a pickup truck beside the motor home. It added that he broke into the vehicle and damaged its ignition.

Wooten then used a chair to break a large hole in the restaurant’s front window, police said, and caused additional damage before setting a fire inside the building.

Following his arrest, police said they charged him for second-degree burglary, second-degree arson, four counts of third-degree criminal mischief and two counts of fifth-degree criminal mischief.

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