GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — Bond is set at $50,000 for a man accused of torching a Somali restaurant in Grand Forks.
WDAZ-TV reports 25-year-old Matthew Gust, of East Grand Forks, Minnesota, made his initial court appearance Wednesday on a felony arson charge.
Gust is accused of throwing a 40-ounce beer bottle filled with gasoline through a window at Juba Coffee House on Dec. 7, starting a fire that caused an estimated $90,000 in damage. It happened three days after vandals spray-painted what some have described as a Nazi-like symbol on the business, along with the words “go home.” Authorities didn’t immediately link the fire and the vandalism.
Defense attorney Theodore Sandberg told The Associated Press that Gust maintains his innocence in the fire and denies any involvement with the vandalism.
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