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Business Owner Arrested For Arson

Posted 1/31/2014 12:39 PM by MDGREGORY

Today, January 31st, 2014, Spokane Valley Fire Department Deputy Fire Marshal (DFM) Clifton Mehaffey arrested 23-year-old Jennifer S. Na for the reported hate crime at “Coffee Break”. Na was booked into jail on the charges of 2nd Degree Arson, 3rd Degree Malicious Mischief and False Reporting.

On January 21st, 2014, at 8:30 a.m., Spokane Valley Sheriff’s Deputy Ken Dodge responded to the business, located near the 1600 block of North Barker Rd., on a harassment call. Deputy Dodge contacted Na, the owner of the business, who told him someone had lit the parking lot on fire and spray painted “Go Back To China” on the asphalt where she parks her vehicle. Deputy Dodge also found a crumpled piece of burned paper that had been wedged into the trim of the building in an apparent attempt to burn down the business.

While at the scene, Deputy Dodge could smell the strong odor of gasoline on the building and in the parking lot. Deputy Dodge requested the assistance of the Spokane Valley Fire Department. Assistant Fire Marshal (AFM) Richard Freier, his accelerant detecting K9 Mako, and DFM Mehaffey responded to the scene to assist with the investigation.

On Wednesday, January 29th, 2014, DFM Mehaffey interviewed Na about the incident. DFM Mehaffey watched the surveillance video at the business from the night of the incident and saw Na bring a gas can into the business and set it on the counter prior to the security system being turned off. DFM Mehaffey informed Na of his observations and after initially denying it was a gas can, Na admitted that it was and admitted to committing the crimes. Na did not provide a reason as to why she committed the crimes.

• Na is currently booked in Spokane County Jail on the listed charges.