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Georgia restaurant owner arrested and charged with arson

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JASPER — The owner of a Jasper restaurant that caught fire Nov. 5 has been arrested and charged with arson.

On Nov. 7, Investigators with the Safety Fire Commissioner’s Office assisted with the arrest of 23-year-old Tyler Jose Suarez, of Jasper, with 1 Count of First Degree Arson. The charge stems from his alleged involvement in setting fire to a building that housed a restaurant he owned, Bee’s Home Cooking. Suarez was booked into the Pickens County Jail and has already posted bond.

“People who deliberately set fire to a structure, whether it be for insurance money or revenge, will be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Any form of arson will not be tolerated in this state,” said Safety Fire Commissioner John F. King. “Not only does arson put lives in danger, it causes insurance premiums to rise and hardworking Georgians to suffer.”

The 3,698 square-foot building suffered moderate damage to the interior. It was built in 1986, but has only housed Bee’s Home Cooking since January.

No one was inside at the time of the fire. Investigators believe that this is an isolated incident and not related to the other restaurant fire that occurred in Pickens County in early October.

Investigators with the Safety Fire Commissioner’s Office are assisting the Jasper Fire Department, Jasper Police Department, and the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office with this investigation.

First Degree Arson is a felony punishable by a fine of no more than $50,000 or by a prison term between one and twenty years, or both.

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Thom Chandler
Thom Chandler is the editor of The Georgia Sun and has been writing, editing and managing websites and blogs since 1995. He is a lifelong Georgian and one of those increasingly rare Atlanta natives.
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