Suspect At Large After Being Charged With Arson In Somali Restaurant Blaze

December 14, 2015 10:50 a.m.

Police were seeking a suspect who was charged with arson Friday in connection with a fire that left a Somali restaurant in Grand Forks, North Dakota badly damaged.

The suspect, 25-year-old Matthew Gust, remained at large on Monday, James McCarthy, the assistant state attorney prosecuting the case, told TPM by email.

The Thursday morning blaze did about $90,000 in damage to Juba Coffee & Restaurant. No one was injured.

Authorities already had been investigating a possible hate crime at the restaurant, where Nazi symbols and “go home” messages were painted on the building’s exterior just days before the fire.

McCarthy declined further comment on the case, citing a pending investigation.

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