On January 1st an unknown man poured gasoline over a staircase inside the gay bar Neighbours and lit it on fire as the nightclub was packed with more than 750 New Years Eve revelers. The blaze was quickly discovered and extinguished before it could spread, and the bar was safely evacuated and miraculously one was injured. Detectives from SPD’s Arson/Bomb Squad, along with members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, have since been investigating the case.
Yesterday Musab Mohamed Masmari was arrested as police say he was on his way to the airport. Masmari, was booked into King County Jail for investigation of arson, according to police.
Masmari has a record of Seattle assaults and arrests that increased in frequency starting last spring. Since the January 1st incident, several business owners in north Capitol Hill told CHS they have had run-ins with the man.
Last April Masmari put a cigarette out in a man’s cheek as he entered the Lookout bar, “He was trying to come in with a cigarette, and the guy just told him he couldn’t do that, so he put it out in his cheek,” said Stevie Gayle, who was bartending at the Lookout that night.
A fight broke out outside the bar, but Gayle said Masmari fled before the police arrived.
Other gay business owner said that he and others were forced to “86″ Masmari from their venues after run-ins in recent months.
Here’s is the report on the arrest from SPD:
Seattle Police made an arrest this morning of a 30-year-old suspect wanted for the arson at Neighbours on January 1st.
This morning, Seattle Police arrested the 30-year-old man near Seattle as he was enroute to the airport. Detectives from our Arson/Bomb Squad, working along with members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), have been investigating this case since the early morning hours of January 1st. Detectives would like to thank the public for all the tips they have received on the person of interest. Following his arrest, the suspect was interviewed by detectives and later booked into the King County Jail for Investigation of Arson.