Atlanta Authorities offering $10,000 reward for information on suspects involved in Wendy’s fire

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Authorities in Atlanta are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the people who started a fire that destroyed a Wendy’s restaurant.

The University Avenue restaurant, which was the site of a black man’s death at the hands of an Atlanta police officer, was left burning after a protest Saturday evening. 

Police on Sunday distributed photos of one suspect “attempting to hide her identity.” The department also cited a video posted to social media that depicted the woman. Officials said information on other suspects is also welcomed in the case. 

The fire, which occurred during the third straight weekend of protests in Atlanta, happened at the Wendy’s where 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks was killed.

Police were sent to the Wendy’s after Brooks reportedly fell asleep in his car and blocked the restaurant’s drive-thru. A struggle broke out when officers attempted to arrest the man. 

Video posted on social media showed Brooks on the ground wrestling with two white Atlanta police officers in the parking lot. Officers attempted to use a Taser on Brooks, who was able to wrestle the stun gun away and run away, with officers in pursuit. Shots are heard but not seen in the video.

Officer Garret Rolfe, who officials said fired the shots that killed Brooks, was terminated from the department. The second officer involved, Officer Devin Bronson, has been placed on administrative duty, officials said. 

The incident comes as people across the country are protesting the death of George Floyd, who died while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Floyd’s death sparked new outrage over the treatment of black people by law enforcement and led to the first round of enthusiastic demonstrations in Atlanta. 

Cortez Stafford, a spokesman for Atlanta Fire, said the blaze at the Atlanta restaurant grew because it wasn’t safe to get to the area near the restaurant when the fire began. 

Fire crews contained the flames, but as were unable to go inside the building to thoroughly extinguish all hot spots, parts of the blaze were rekindled. The few flames that popped up “did not pose a threat to the already burned structure,” Stafford said. 

Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact Atlanta police. 

Tipsters can remain anonymous, and be eligible for the reward, by contacting Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477, texting information to 274637 or visiting the Crime Stoppers website.

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