Minneapolis man charged for starting fires in Uptown alley


A Minneapolis man has been charged for starting fires in an alley in the Uptown area of Minneapolis, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.

Tyler Ferguson, 22, was charged with second-degree arson for starting fires in an alley behind Stella’s Fish Café in Uptown in the early morning hours of July 6. Ferguson also faces a first-degree damage to property charge.

He is scheduled to make his first appearance July 14 at 1:30 p.m.

According to the criminal complaint, the Minneapolis Fire Department, along with Minneapolis Police, responded to 1402 Lake Street West, the location of Stella’s, on the report of fires in an alleyway behind the restaurant.

When police arrived, they spoke with the owner of Stella’s, who provided them with security footage of the alley behind the restaurant where the fires were started. Around 3:00 a.m., the footage captured two men in the alley, with Ferguson identified wearing blue shorts, a bullet vest, and having distinct black and blue tipped hair, the complaint says.

Ferguson’s companion is seen with a brown paper bag, which he lights up and places atop of cardboard lying on dumpsters in the alley behind Stella’s. The footage then shows Ferguson place additional cardboard on top of the burning bag, and watches as it catches fire, the complaint states. He then takes the burning paper bag, positions it at the back of a dumpster, which ignites other items.

Additional footage from the owner showed Ferguson in the same alley moving dumpsters around on July 3. A Stella’s employee told police of a conversation previously had with Ferguson, who told the employee that he wanted to burn the restaurant down, the complaint continues.

On July 9, officers located and arrested Ferguson.

The estimated cost of damages the restaurant sustained are more than $80,000 at this time.

View the criminal complaint against Ferguson (PDF).