For Immediate Release
Cleveland Man Charged with Starting Fire in Restaurant During May 30 Demonstrations in Downtown Cleveland
Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Brennan announced that a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Michael Sloan, 26, of Cleveland, with explosive destruction of property.
According to court documents, on May 30, 2020, it is alleged that the Defendant maliciously began a fire inside Rebol Restaurant, located on 101 West Superior Ave in Cleveland.
The affidavit in support of the criminal complaint states that, following the events that occurred in downtown Cleveland on May 30, 2020, investigators with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) began to review surveillance camera footage from that day. While examining the footage, investigators observed a subject, later identified as the Defendant, allegedly enter Rebol Restaurant, start a fire, place additional fuel on the fire and then exit the restaurant. Police officers arrived moments later to extinguish the fire.
The following day, the affidavit states that investigators determined the fire to be incendiary and caused by an open flame applied to combustibles. Investigators identified the Defendant as the subject who allegedly caused the fire thanks, in part, to tips received from the public after images and video were released to the media.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
If convicted, the Defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the Defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the Defendant’s role in the offense, and the characteristics of the violation.
In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum, and in most cases, it will be less than the maximum.
This investigation was conducted by the ATF with the help of the Cleveland Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Adam J. Joines.