Whyte Avenue vehicle arsonist gets 15-month sentence

On April 12, Malice Sutton was captured on video damaging vehicles in the Whyte Avenue-area before two men put him under citizen arrest in a coffee shop.

Malice Sutton, 23, admitted to pouring gasoline on vehicles and setting them on fire

A video posted on Reddit in April shows a man setting an SUV on fire in Old Strathcona. (spincrisis/Reddit)

A man who set fire to several vehicles in Old Strathcona in April has been sentenced to 15 months in jail.

Malice Sutton, 23, pleaded guilty in August to arson with disregard for human life, possessing an explosive device, assault with a weapon and arson causing property damage to motor vehicles.

On April 12, Sutton was captured on video damaging vehicles in the Whyte Avenue area before two men put him under citizen arrest in a coffee shop.

Police say 13 vehicles were damaged but no one was hurt.

Malice Sutton in Facebook photo dated 2014. (Facebook/Malice Sutton )

Sutton had been homeless and unemployed for months, according to a four-page agreed statement of facts read out in Edmonton provincial court. He was also suicidal. 

Rampage caught on camera

His original plan was to damage cars in the parking lot of the Spotlight Cabaret, where he had lost his job as a dishwasher.

Instead, he walked to an alley just north of Whyte Avenue carrying a jerry can of gas and a butane lighter. Sutton emptied three pop bottles and filled them with gas, stuffed torn socks into the tops and turned the bottles upside down to soak the socks to make wicks.

He lit one Molotov cocktail and threw it. When a driver drove by, Sutton lit another wick and threw the bottle at the vehicle. Sutton also poured gas on or under several vehicles, then set them on fire. 

The incident made national headlines when onlookers captured the dramatic rampage on cellphone cameras. 

When Sutton went into a Starbucks cafe, he was taken to the floor by one pursuer, who held him until police arrived. Sutton has been at the Edmonton Remand Centre ever since. 

With credit for time already served, Sutton is to spend another 3-1/2 months in custody.

Sutton spoke in court, apologizing to those involved and to the entire city.

With files from The Canadian Press and Janice Johnston