USC Student throwing Molotov cocktails on campus is suspect in cafe fire www.privateofficer.com
COLUMBIA, SC Feb 2 2012 - A 22-year-old University of South Carolina student has been arrested and accused of throwing Molotov cocktails in downtown Columbia. That student is also the prime suspect in a fire that burned down the Salty Nut Cafe in early January.
USC police took Theodore Podewil into custody at his home at 934 Laurens St. Tuesday night after fingerprints on an un-exploded Molotov cocktail were found next to a dumpster behind a campus building on Main St. in late January.
According to arrest warrants, Podewil is suspected of building and throwing the fire bombs on at least three different occasions in January.
He’s also suspected of setting the Salty Nut Cafe on fire in early January. Surveillance video from outside the restaurant helped identify Podewil as the suspect, officials said.
Around 4:30 a.m. on January 6, firefighters were called to the Salty Nut Cafe on Greene St. When they arrived, heavy smoke was pouring out the top of the restaurant.
The blaze caused very heavy damage to the interior of the building, which did not have a sprinkler system, but general manager Phil Hopewell said he believes the structure is strong enough to rebuild. The building was built in the 1930′s and was not required to have a sprinkler system.
It’s possible the cafe could be open by St. Patrick’s Day.
Podewil is being held at the Alvin S. Detention Cente