News and Press Releases


February 16, 2005

CHRISTOPHER W. McINTOSH, 22, of Maple Shade, New Jersey, was arrested today in connection with the January 20, 2003, arson of the McDonald's restaurant at 222 5th Avenue North in Seattle. McINTOSH made his first appearance in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia and will be transported by Federal Marshals to Seattle. He is charged by complaint with one count of Arson. Arson is punishable by not less than 5 years in prison with a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

According to the complaint, fire broke out on the roof of the McDonald's restaurant near the foot of the Seattle Space Needle at about 1:50 am on January 20, 2003. A witness at the scene reported seeing a thin man, 15-22 years-old, dressed in dark clothing and carrying a backpack, fleeing from the roof of the restaurant. Arson investigators determined the fire was started by an improvised incendiary device. A number of items were found on the roof including a black gym bag that contained a gas can, hacksaw, sunglasses, and a can of spray paint.

A few hours after the fire a call came in to the Seattle Arson tip line from a public pay phone. The caller stated the ELF (Earth Liberation Front) and ALF (Animal Liberation Front) were responsible for the fire. The caller also conveyed certain information about the fire scene that had not been disclosed publicly. The fire did approximately $5,000 damage to the restaurant.

According to the complaint certain evidence recovered from the roof links McINTOSH to the scene. Records at a Seattle Youth Center indicate McINTOSH was living in the area at the time of the fire.

A complaint contains allegations that have not yet been proven at trial beyond a reasonable doubt. McINTOSH's first appearance in U.S. District Court in Seattle has not been scheduled yet.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigated the case.

For additional information please contact FBI Spokeswoman Robbie Burroughs at 206-262-2509, or Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney's Office, at 206-553-4110.

(Download Complaint )

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