Salt Lake firefighters respond to a fireplace at an place of work creating in Sugar Household on Sunday, June 13, 2021. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret Information)
SALT LAKE City — Prosecutors say a West Valley gentleman obsessed with the operator of a massage parlor who has a historical past of stalking the owner of a 2nd therapeutic massage enterprise in the very same complex deliberately begun a fireplace that burned down both of those businesses and a lot more than 20 others.
The fireplace at a multi-device business office developing in Sugar Dwelling brought about more than $2 million in problems.
Alex Kentish Tuita, 37, was billed Wednesday in 3rd District Courtroom with three counts of aggravated arson, a initially-degree felony, and two counts of stalking, a 2nd-degree felony.
The large hearth ruined the office making at 1104 E. Ashton Ave. on June 13. The blaze also spread and harmed a close by residence and duplex. Injury to the place of work construction was approximated at $1.75 million just for the building by itself, according to charging documents, with “the amount of loss to every single of the about 25 firms inside of the developing (becoming) unfamiliar at this time.”
A person of people firms was a massage parlor. The girl who owns the company advised police that Tuita is a former client who experienced been banned, still he ongoing to phone and text her “inappropriate points” and stalk her inspite of her asking him to prevent, the charges point out. Tuita even produced a phony Instagram profile of the girl “since he was ‘obsessed'” with her, investigators wrote in the costs.
Tuita is also accused of demanding the woman’s fiancé to a combat, the charges state.
Following the lady very first contacted police, Tuita “once again tried out to program an appointment on the net, but (the lady) denied the appointment and was in the procedure of looking for a civil injunction versus Tuita when the fireplace occurred at her place of company,” according to the charges.
Furthermore, a next girl who also owns a therapeutic massage business in the developing informed law enforcement that Tuita is also a former client of hers and she filed a stalking injunction from him in 2018. The injunction was continue to lively at the time of the fire, the charging paperwork condition.
When interviewed by investigators, Tuita admitted to arriving at the building with a “jar comprehensive of gasoline,” pouring it on the setting up and igniting it with a lighter, in accordance to the expenses.
Prosecutors have requested that Tuita be held in the Salt Lake County Jail with no bail, noting in court docket documents that he had threatened two females as effectively as their family members, and that “he was inspired by revenge when he commenced the fire.”