NewsLocal NewsEast County News


Two arrested for fire that destroyed La Mesa bank in May

Minneapolis Police Death Protests California
Posted at 1:47 PM, Nov 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-03 17:04:52-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Two people have been arrested for the fire that destroyed a Chase Bank during unrest in La Mesa last May.

FBI San Diego said 19-year-old Alexander Jacob King and 33-year-old Ricky Bernard Cooper were arrested on Monday and charged with arson of a structure in connection with the bank fire. King was also charged with one count of looting and Cooper is facing four separate counts of looting related to various La Mesa businesses.

On May 30, FBI investigators say the fire was set at the Chase Bank at 4791 Spring St., causing extensive damage to the building. Since the fire, investigators from La Mesa Police, San Diego Police, and the San Diego FBI have been piecing together evidence leading to Monday's arrests.

"While peaceful protest is a right protected by the U.S. Constitution and a time-honored tradition in our country, violent criminal activity, including arson and looting, will not be tolerated," the FBI said in a release announcing the arrests.

Last May, demonstrators marched through the city and gathered outside of La Mesa Police Department to protest the arrest of an African American man by a white LMPD officer caught on video. The protest followed a week of demonstrations around the country stemming from the Memorial Day death of George Floyd while in police custody.

Later that night, protests turned violent as rioters set several fires, and damaged and looted businesses.