Edmonton

More than a dozen charges laid after Whyte Avenue arson spree

A 22-year-old man has been charged after a number of vehicles were lit on fire Friday night near Whyte Avenue. The charges include arson to property and assault with a weapon.

Malice Sutton is facing 19 charges

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

Twenty-two-year-old Malice Sutton is facing 19 charges after multiple vehicles were lit on fire Friday night. 

Police say Sutton travelled on foot in the area of 104th Street and 83rd Avenue and poured gasoline on vehicles before setting them on fire.

Edmonton police have laid a total of 19 charges related to the incident including 11 counts of arson to property, three counts of arson to property with disregard for human life, four charges of possessing incendiary material and one count of assault with a weapon.

A total of 13 vehicles were damaged, police said.

This video posted by user spincrisis on Reddit shows the arrest of suspect who allegedly damaged 13 vehicles on Whyte Avenue Friday night. 3:34

Sutton was stopped by an unknown man who chased him into a coffee shop on the corner of Whyte Ave and 104th Street. Police said he was taken into custody a short time later. 

No injuries were reported but a number of witnesses saw the scene play out on the popular strip.

Maxwell Putnam told CBC News Sutton yelled out a coffee order before he was tackled just after he entered the cafe.

"It was kind of surreal," Putnam said. "I almost thought it was staged, like there was some kind of a prank going on. But then it became clear that there was a lot of anger towards this guy."

CJ Rowein manages a pub nearby. He said owners and staff from businesses in the area jumped into action.

He got to work extinguishing some more vehicles while a staff member of another restaurant came out with another extinguisher.

"My initial response was just to put the fires out," Rowein said. "It definitely was an extreme instance and it was ... interesting."

Rowein said he'd like to know why the man acted out in the way he did.

An Edmonton police spokesperson confirmed that Sutton remains in custody.