Shiprock man accused of arson in connection to Farmington restaurant tent blaze
Farmington fire department investigating blaze at business
- LeAndro Tyler, 38, is accused of incinerating a large, white canopy tent belonging to Sumo Asian Grill.
- The Farmington Police Department was dispatched around 6:02 a.m. on April 7 to the restaurant on reports of a possible fire.
- He is set for an April 21 preliminary examination in Farmington Magistrate Court.
FARMINGTON — A Shiprock man recently sentenced to probation is accused of arson after a tent used for outdoor eating at a Farmington restaurant was set ablaze and half of it was destroyed.
LeAndro Tyler, 38, is accused of incinerating much of a large, white canopy tent belonging to Sumo Asian Grill at 3030 E. Main St. in Farmington on the morning of April 7, according to court documents.
Tyler is charged with a felony count of arson along with resisting arrest and concealing his identity, according to the criminal complaint.
Tyler did not have legal representation on the afternoon of April 9.
The Farmington Police Department was dispatched around 6:02 a.m. on April 7 to the restaurant on reports of a possible fire.
A large, white canopy tent in the parking was on fire when police arrived on scene.
An officer used a fire extinguisher, briefly putting out the fire before it reignited.
Farmington firefighters arrived on scene and extinguished the fire, which it appeared was started by pieces of wood stacked up inside the tent.
The fire department told police it would conduct an investigation into the blaze due to the extensive damage it caused.
Court documents indicate that the restaurant owner told police one entire side of the tent was incinerated, and that would cost over $1,000 to replace. The owner added Tyler told his employee that “I was cold so I burnt it.”
A half-consumed bottle of rum was found in Tyler’s pants, along with a white lighter, court documents stated. The defendant told police he didn't start the fire.
Officers said they had a hard time understanding Tyler due to his high level of intoxication, according to court documents.
Tyler was covered in white and grey ashes from the fire and the officer could smell “the intense smell of smoke and burning wood” on the defendant.
Tyler was arrested at the scene and taken to the San Juan County Adult Detention Center.
He remains incarcerated on a no-bond hold for violating his conditions of release in a felony battery upon a peace officer case.
Tyler on Feb. 25 pleaded guilty to a felony count of forgery and was given 18 months of probation, according to court documents.
An April 12 court hearing has been scheduled in Aztec district court regarding his probation violations.
He is set for an April 21 preliminary examination in Farmington Magistrate Court.
Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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