56-year old Dawud Abdulwali has been arrested in relation to the Da Vinci apartment complex fire case from December 2014. He is the prime suspect that the Los Angeles police authorities have identified after a lengthy complex investigation. He is expected to be formally charged this Thursday.
The Da Vinci fire has generated tremendous damage to the apartment complex that was under construction, but also to the surrounding buildings and a freeway located close to it. The damage was estimated between $20 million and $30 million for the Da Vinci building and a whopping $50 million for the adjacent structures.
Authorities say that this was actually not the worst case scenario, taking into consideration that a difference in climatic factors could have increased the damage up to $200 million.
The investigation was carried out as a joint effort of the Los Angeles Fire Department, the local Police Department and the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives unit. For six months they employed a multidisciplinary approach to this intricate arson case.
Ultimately, they arrested Dawud Abdulwali, but the detailed evidence that has led them to him has not been made public for the time being, since authorities believe that this might interfere with the further prosecution process.
The 56-year old man was held by the Los Angeles authorities on a traffic-related charge, but at the moment he is suspected of having committed grave offenses such as aggravated arson and property arson. If he will be found guilty as a result of his formal trial, he could be facing a life sentence in jail, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
“All of the evidence that we have right now points to this person as a suspect.”, said special agent Carlos Canino, the Los Angeles Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives unit representative.
There is footage that pin points a man carrying fuel tanks towards the Da Vinci building little time before the fire started. However, it has not been disclosed whether or not Dawud Abdulwali is the man from seen in this material.
Very little information is available about this man at the moment. He is known to have been renting a room in Los Angeles, and his landlord, Poleth Chavez, said that back in December the man paid him the rent for two months in advance and announced him that he would be leaving for San Francisco.
Dawud Abdulwali is quite the mysterious figure. Not even Mr. Chavez could provide more details about him, as he says that he is a quiet man and that he usually keeps to himself. Furthermore, the authorities have reason to believe that this name is actually an alias, so there is much more to be uncovered in the future regarding this man.
It remains to be seen what his trial will uncover in regards to the Da Vinci arson case, after he will be formally charged on Thursday. If he will be found guilty of property arson and aggravated arson, he is most likely facing a lifetime in prison, in accordance to the extent of the damage caused in this case.
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