Crime & Courts

Man set fire to Roscoe’s restaurant in downtown Anchorage Saturday, police say

A 21-year-old man was arrested Saturday after police say he broke into a motor home and set fire to a downtown Anchorage restaurant.

First responders were called to Roscoe’s Catfish and BBQ on East Sixth Avenue just before 9 p.m. Saturday, police wrote in an online statement.

Security footage from the FBI building, which is located across the street from the restaurant, showed a man later identified as Matthew Wooten walk through an alley and break open a green cable box on the south side of the building, according to criminal charges filed Sunday. Wooten appeared to touch the wires for several minutes before he jumped on top of a motor home parked behind the restaurant, the charges said.

Wooten kicked the motor home and created a hole that he then climbed through, the charges said.

He also broke the window of a nearby pickup truck at one point, police said.

By about 8:15 p.m. in the video, smoke could be seen coming from the restaurant, the charges said. About 15 minutes later, movement could be seen inside the building and Wooten was seen swinging a chair and breaking the front window, the charges said.

He left the area after breaking the window, but returned several minutes later, the charges said. Smoke continued to rise from the restaurant and firefighters arrived around 9 p.m., the charges said.

Wooten walked toward the firefighters with cuts on his arms and appeared to be impaired, the charges said.

He was brought to the hospital, where police made contact with him. After he was medically cleared, Wooten was arrested on charges of second-degree burglary, second-degree arson and six counts of criminal mischief.

In total, the damage to the window, motor home and cable box was estimated to be about $9,000, the charges said.

It was not immediately clear what may have motivated Wooten’s actions, but a police spokeswoman said that is part of the ongoing investigation.

A front window of the restaurant had crime scene tape stretched across it Monday afternoon and the restaurant was closed. The restaurant’s owners could not be reached.

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