In December of 2014, an apartment building which was under construction was set on fire in Downtown Los Angeles, near the Harbor 110 Freeway. Authorities told reporters this past Wednesday, May 27, 2015 that a 56-year-old man had been arrested on Tuesday, May 26, under suspicion for the Downtown Los Angeles Fire. The building which was set on fire was completely destroyed, and office towers that set across from the unfinished apartments were also damaged.
Dawud Abdulwali is the name of the man who was arrested. He was stopped by police for having a traffic warrant on Tuesday morning, and was later booked for arson aggravation. Police believe he has been living under a false identity and is otherwise known as Timothy Rotson. The suspect currently has a one million dollar bail set against him, and will be officially charged on Thursday. Officials have not stated why Abdulwali was investigated for an arrest, but authorities have been working with the fire department, LAPD, Explosives and Firearms , Alcohol of Federal Bureau, and Tobacco on the investigation for six months, which found evidence that led to his arrest.
The man arrested for suspicion of the Downtown Los Angeles Fire on December 8, is said to have done the job by himself. The apartment building was a 1.3 million square foot Da Vinci compound, that was still in its framed wood stage, which burst into flames, that was said to be seen for miles.
AFT, Los Angeles, Field Division, Carlos A. Canino, special agent, told reporters, Abdulwali did not have a connection to the destroyed building, there is a lack of history of him having any arson convictions, but believes he is the only suspect. While at a news conference on Wednesday, May 27, Mayor Eric Garcetti, told sources, the crime is not tolerated and criminals will be arrested and prosecuted for their actions if found guilty.
The damages of the fire cost about $20-$30 million in damages to the site where the building was being constructed, and $50-$60 million to a building owned by the city, which was nearby and also acquired some damages from the flames. In search of evidence prior to the arrest of Abdulwali, investigators searched through debris of about 75,000 square feet. While Abdulwali is not tied to the blaze of the apartment buildings in Downtown Los Angeles, sources have said officials do not want to take any chances to endanger any prosecutions of Abdulwali’s case.
Reports have stated the suspect rented a room in a house in South Los Angeles. His landlord told authorities, Abdulwali paid his rent two months in advance, and left telling him he was moving to San Francisco, in early December, around the same time the fire in Downtown Los Angeles occurred. His landlord also told reporters Abdulwali was a quiet man who always kept to himself.
Canino also told sources due to advance technology and traditional police work, it led them to the 56-year-old man being the suspect. There are cameras that surrounds the site in Downtown Los Angeles, and when police investigated recordings from the night of the fire, it showed a man parking his automobile on the 110 freeway, holding cans of fuel, while walking onto the construction site. Images have been released of other possible suspects, but sources have reported Abdulwali is neither male in the photographs.
Authorities have yet to comment on who the two males are in the images. However, the man arrested for suspicion for the Downtown Los Angeles complex fire, is said to face up to life in prison if he is found guilty for the charges.
By Krystle Mitchell
Fox News: Authorities arrest man for Downtown Los Angeles inferno
Los Angeles Times: 56, Man arrested for Downtown Los Angeles Da Vinci
NBC Los Angeles: Police Make arrest for Da Vinci Fire
Photo Courtesy of Atomic Hot Links Flickr Page – Creative Commons License