Man Indicted on Arson Charge Alleging He Set Pizzeria Mozza on Fire

KNX 1070
Photo credit KNX 1070
By KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO

 A Sylmar man was charged in a federal grand jury indictment alleging he deliberately set Hollywood’s Pizzeria Mozza restaurant on fire during protests in May, according to U.S. Attorney Nicola Hanna's office on Tuesday.

In a press release, the U.S. Attorney's office said Mario Ernesto Alvarado, 42, is charged with one count of arson.

Alvarado is free on a $25,000 bond and his arraignment is scheduled for Aug. 10. He was arrested on a federal criminal complaint in July. 

On May 30 when there were protests happening across the city in response to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Alvarado allegedly walked into a building that housed Pizzeria Mozza and Mozza2Go. 

"Once inside the building, Alvarado maliciously poured a flammable liquid on the restaurant floor and set it on fire, according to the indictment. Arson investigators determined that the fire caused $500,000 in structural damage to the shop, with an additional $50,000 in fire damage to restaurant merchandise and property, according to an affidavit filed with a criminal complaint in this case. At the time of the fire, the restaurant and shop were closed due to a curfew order," the press release states

 In June, the LAPD and FBI sought information that led to the arrest of several alleged arsonists suspected of starting fires across LA. Alvarado was identified by someone in the public as one of the alleged arsonists, according to court documents.

If convicted, Alvarado would face a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison and a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison. 

Sylmar man indicted on arson charge alleging he set Hollywood pizza restaurant ablaze during civil disturbances in May https://t.co/DCLibdok3P

— US Attorney L.A. (@USAO_LosAngeles) August 4, 2020